Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17
Daily Devotional Series
Victory Over Suffering Day 5
Reading: 1 Peter 2:11-25
This one can be tough to swallow. When we don’t like the people in charge it’s hard to be respectful. Not just kings, but bosses, parents, anyone in authority. It’s easy to mock. It’s easy to spit at people. It’s easy to use them as an excuse to behave poorly. You honor those worthy of honor. That’s what Peter is talking about right? He can’t expect us to honor Presidents Trump, Obama, G.W. Bush, Clinton, G.H. Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and down the line. There are some on that list you still can’t stand. I know that everyone of our presidents, including Lincoln and Washington, had their detractors. So to whom was Peter referring? Roman Emperor Nero. As Roman emperor, Nero’s reign was lavish and tyrannical. He killed his mother, persecuted Christians and is said to have “fiddled while Rome burned.” Yet Peter said, “Honor the emperor.”
It’s a reminder that as the people of God, we are a noble people. We are the royal priesthood. We are set apart to be different. We are to bring joy and light into the world no matter the circumstances. We are not to regurgitate bitterness and malice back into the world. Even in the worst of times, we are not to surrender that nobility. To follow the example of Jesus.
A true story I heard that I love to retell is about a Christian man in England who worked as a secretary for a very severe and hard man. A call came in for his boss, to which the boss replied, “Tell them I’m not here.” The secretary responded, “You tell him.” The boss, fuming, took the receiver and dealt with the call and then turned his attention to his secretary with red in his eyes. The secretary simply stated, “If I can lie for you, I can lie to you.” He quickly became the most trusted employee in the company.