"Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the Emperor."
(1 Peter 2:17)
It's just one verse. But four sentences. Short sentences. Poignant sentences. And it covers all: believers, God, the Emperor, & everyone else in-between! The author of 1 Peter sets out simple instructions:
- LOVE the family of believers... As Christians, we're called to love those within the church. Not just our church. All churches. Not just within our own denomination. All denominations. All believers everywhere. Even those we don't share 100% agreement with theologically. Why? I believe it's because Christ is our Head. We must shower love abundantly upon all believers. Period.
- FEAR God... Fear in this setting means "awe" and "reverence." It's having a realistic awareness of the majesty, power, and authority of God. We are not in charge or control. WE are children of the Almighty! We must live in reverent fear of the Creator of All. It's a "fear" that will evoke great devotion from us.
- HONOR the Emperor... Give honor to the supreme political leader of the land. Whether that be the Emperor or the President, either way. Too often our own political feelings (or party lines) tend to trump our ability to honor our own leaders. Shame on us. We don't have to agree with our leaders all the time in order to honor them.
- HONOR everyone... What would it mean to show honor to everyone we came in contact with? Can we be known for being honorable and extending honor with all?