Is it earned or given?

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

Most people have it backward and think people have to earn their respect. People do not have to earn your respect; you give your respect to everyone. People can lose your respect, but they do not have to earn it and the only way they lose your respect is only after they have shown a lack of character.

If we are to live humanely, then we are to treat each other with respect. I don’t know where we get the idea that we can treat people without respect and make them jump through hoops to earn it. How much do I have to earn and for how long do I have to work for your respect? I don’t see that modeled in the bible anywhere. Even the Pharisees who Jesus did not get along with received his respect. He may have begged to differ with their belief but he showed proper respect. Notice the people who were disrespectful of others were not thought of well in the bible. What makes us think things have changed?

I see a lack of respect today almost everywhere. I see mean people who treat others callously and it’s wrong. On the most basic level of living on this planet, it’s wrong. We are now afraid of each other. Road rage is prevalent because no one drives respectfully. We tailgate, cut people off in traffic and when someone signals to merge in a lane we speed up to block them. We don’t care about one another’s things. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine if I can get it. Teachers are told that they have to earn the respect of the student and that the student does not have to respect them until then. We bash the President without regard and call it our right, yet when the right you have in the world infringes on the right you have in the WORD then you’d be wise to choose the Word. Employers lay off employees days short of their retirement esteeming them of little value. Today we have children who threaten their parents and parents who threaten their children. Where did we get so twisted up?

The general lack of disrespect is ungodly and what does it say when we can’t even live at a humane level? Even if you aren’t in relationship with God, does it not move you that respect is woefully lacking in our communities? Think about something with me, would you go up to a group of teenagers in a McDonalds who were tearing the place up and ask them to stop? Of course not! Not only would the teens tell you off or worse take it to another level, the parents would show up and tell you off too. It’s ridiculous and it needs to change.

Respect is not earned. It is a gift freely given to each living thing on the planet. Respect can’t be bought. A lack of respect says more about the person who is being disrespectful than it does the person to whom respect is not being shown. Remember to live by a principle by the same measure you give that’s the same measure you get. It behooves us to respect others.