"Pay to all what is due them - taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due."
It's officially February now. Time to start working on taxes. (Actually, full disclosure here... Jody does all the tax-prep work for us!) For most of us, it's not a question of "IF" we will pay taxes (like it was in Jesus' day)... but rather "WHEN" (as in how close to the 1:59pm deadline on April 15th?!). Giving people respect & honor, however, is another story.
Towards t he end of his letter to the church in Rome, Paul encourages the believers to do 4 things: Give the taxes, revenue, respect & honor that is due people. Period. It's the last 2 categories that struck me today.
We in America value our freedom - including free speech. We exercise that speech quite often in expressing our displeasure with people - elected officials, soccer referees, our bosses, law enforcement, criminals, the homeless, Drug addicts & Drug dealers, cable/phone repair people, etc. Some of them, by their position and/or title are truly due respect - whether we agree with their policies/actions/statements or not. We frequently do NOT afford respect to many of them. And honor? Wouldn't Jesus have wanted us to treat ALL people with love & honor? Probably. He did. Again, there are many we don't grant honor to. "But they don't deserve it!" you say to me. Maybe that's true. But Jesus challenged us (commanded us!) to love our enemies & pray for those who hurt (or frustrate, anger, embarrass) her.
Respect & honor. I'm sure I could be giving more of them both than I currently do.
How about you?