1 John 4:7-21
To love someone is to respect that person as someone that God loves. It is being true to the Spirit of God within. It is so whether the other person is an enemy or a friend, whether that person is an employer or an employee. It means treating the other person as a person and not merely as a worker, customer, client, patient or student. It also means treating the boss, the salesperson, the hospital staff, the teacher etc. with respect. That does not mean doing always what the other person wants. It does mean doing what one believes is right. It means consistently treating the other as a human being and not as an object or thing. Too often, people are treated as if expendable. Jesus was. This led to his crucifixion. Too often, in our culture, we treat other people as if they were nothing more than economic units.
Love means much more than respect, but at the very least it includes respect. To love God is to respect or reverence God; to love one’s neighbour as oneself includes having respect, even reverence, for the other person. The current trending discussions about domestic violence and men’s treatment of women need to hear this. 1 John 4:7-21 tells us that God is love and we express our love for God by our love for people. “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers and sisters are liars.” To hate includes despising, rejecting and treating them as less than truly human.
- What is the difference between liking another person and loving that person with the agape love that Jesus had toward all?
- How does respect for the other show itself in the workplace?
- Comment on, “Love means much more than respect, but at the very least it includes respect.”
- What verses in 1 John 4:7-21 might be seen as calling us to respect others?