As a schoolteacher, my wife has noticed that behavior seems to be deteriorating with each successive class of students. Many children show little respect for older people.
First Timothy 6 reveals that disrespect is not unique to our generation. Paul, who ministered to a culture built on slavery, highlighted this concern. He wrote, “Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren” (v.2). Paul knew that slaves, whose welfare depended on their master’s goodwill, were capable of being disrespectful.
We may say that people need to show themselves worthy of respect before we can respect them. But respecting another person is much more about who we are than about who the other person is.
Paul gave the main reason believers should excel in respect: “So that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed” (v.1).
Sadly, the worst cases of disrespect are sometimes found among those who claim to follow Jesus. But when believers excel in all they do, God’s name is lifted up. All of us are to bring honor and glory to the Lord’s name.
Excelling in respect for others honors God.
O help me, Lord, to show respect,
To always honor You;
And may I bring You highest praise
In everything I do. -Sper
One who would be truly respected must first respect others.