Respect

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Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Mr. Williams lived in a small two-room shanty behind our house, on the other side of a graveled alley. He was a quiet man who worked at the fairgrounds. Although it didn't impress me when I was growing up, now I'd love to have the 1952 Chevrolet pickup he drove around town.

Mr. Williams lived alone. If he had family, they never came to visit. Although we were of different skin color and our house had family or friends coming and going, my parents demonstrated great respect for Mr. Williams and expected me to do the same. Every holiday we would fix a big plate of food and walk it over to his home. Even after my dad passed away and my mom moved to the other side of town, we still delivered holiday meals to Mr. Williams. And he was always grateful. When he died, my mom and two others attended his simple and short memorial service. 

Certainly, we are to demonstrate love to believers. We are to live in reverence and awe of God. We are to show honor to those placed in authority over us. And--don't miss the first five words of this verse--we are to show proper respect to everyone. I am thankful my parents taught me how to do that by their example of "proper respect" to Mr. Williams.

Father, help us to show respect to everyone, not just those whose acquaintance we might believe to be beneficial. As parents, help us to teach this truth to our children by showing them how it is done. In Jesus' name. Amen.