by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Malachi 1:6-14
I. The word translated as “respect” in our Bibles comes from an interesting Greek word, entrepo.
A. The word has two, seemingly conflicting, definitions.
1. It can mean showing respect or honor - Hebrews 12:9
2. It can mean having shame - Titus 2:6-8
B. Even our English word “respect” as an interesting origin
1. It comes from a Latin word that means “to look back at”
2. In other words, you are walking down the street and you notice something out of the corner of you eye, so you look back at it to get a better view. It is important enough to have a second look.
C. Another Greek word is timao. It is usually translated as “honor.” It literally means placing a value on something.
1. That old piece of furniture that you received from grandma contains sentimental value.
2. Then you find out that it is worth $50,000. Now it gets honor!
D. We talk about equal rights, personal rights, and the equality of man, but the idea of respect is about a perceived inequality. Respect means some things and some people are more important.
II. Giving due respect
A. Government leaders - I Peter 2:17
1. Why? They exist by the will of God - Romans 13:1
2. They are there to serve - Romans 13:4
B. Bosses - I Timothy 6:1-2
1. They not only provide your paycheck, but they represent authority
2. Give respect as a proper reflection on the teachings of God
C. Leaders in a congregation - I Thessalonians 5:12-13
1. Why? They deserve it for their efforts in serving you - I Timothy 5:17-18
2. Example - I Corinthians 16:15-16
3. They watch out for your soul - Hebrews 13:17
1. Husbands to wives - I Peter 3:7
2. Wives to husbands - Ephesians 5:33
3. Children to parents - Ephesians 6:1-3
4. Why? Because members of a family serve each other - Hebrews 12:9-11
5. Because it is a proper reflection on the teachings of God - Titus 2:4-5
E. The elderly - Leviticus 19:32
1. Why? They have the experience and wisdom that can benefit you - Proverbs 20:29; 16:31
2. It was one of Israel’s loss - Isaiah 3:5; Lamentations 5:12
III. Honoring God - I Timothy 1:17
A. God’s position is so far above us that it alone is reason for respect - I Chronicles 29:11
B. His knowledge, understanding and experience demands respect - Job 36:22-26; 37:22-24
1. God’s challenge to Job - Job 38:1-3
2. Job’s first response - Job 40:1-6
3. Job’s second response - Job 42:1-6
4. Notice the respect Job gives God by taking on the shame of his position.
a. Remember the meaning of the Greek word for respect?
b. It is not a conflicting definition, but two sides of the same point.
C. He benefits us - Ephesians 3:20-21
IV. Teaching Respectful Behavior
A. Philippians 2:3-4 - Consider everyone more important
1. When you meet someone, learn their name and something about them. Show that they are worth your time - Romans 12:10
2. Important at church to meet the visitors, but what about that sales clerk you see each week at the gas station? What about the janitor at your office? - Romans 12:16
B. Luke 17:11-19 - Say “Thank you!”
1. It is such a simple act, that we often overlook it.
2. But it means you took the time to think about someone who helped you out.
3. Always be thankful - I Thessalonians 5:18
C. I Corinthians 13:5 - Don’t behave rudely
1. Cutting into lines says you think your more important
2. How about a step further, giving up your place for someone else?
3. Same for conversations: don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking. It means you are thinking about the worth of what someone else is saying.
D. Galatians 5:13-14 - Be of service to others
1. Stopping to help means you care.
2. Not just helping the little old lady across the street.
a. Notice who is having trouble and offer to help.
b. We had a flat in the middle of nowhere. My tire-iron flared out, so I couldn’t get the nuts off the wheel. Two college age students not only stop, but they changed my tire. They wouldn’t let me help!
c. A friend of the family died unexpectedly. It occurred to me that in the shock of the event no one would have thought about breakfast, so I got up early that morning and made muffins and carried them over.
3. Instead of waiting for someone to ask for help, look for something that you can offer to do, even if it is something small like shining shoes before a wedding.
V. The Value of Respect
A. It keeps us from irritating one another - Galatians 5:14-15
B. It causes us to be fair minded - James 2:8-9
C. It will help us reach heaven - Luke 10:25-28