To Diss or Not to Diss

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7

This verse was obviously written right after six previous verses commending us to obey Government. I think there is a deeper principle within this verse that should be explored. The deeper principle is this: money can be repaid easily enough but respect and honor are earned, and should be rewarded with the same. This applies to government officials, this applies to the cashier in a store. It applies to the customer service representative on the phone you are upset with.

Contrastingly, there are certain people you probably shouldn’t honor or respect. Here’s what I mean. If someone is abusing you physically or verbally, they do not deserve your respect at all. If you are trying to do what is right (recall “do you best to live at peace with all men” in a previous verse) and you are still being abused, you need to walk or run away from that interaction or relationship. Too often we stay in those situations and are damaged greatly by them. We don’t walk away when we need to. We don’t hang up the phone when we can.

Obviously I am painting this topic with a broad brush, meaning life is a lot more complicated than a few words on a computer screen. The general principle still applies. Yes, you should honor and respect those who have earned it, but you should not be at all ashamed if you do not honor or respect someone who is disrespecting and dishonorable towards you.


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