October 10, 2022

Respect and Dignity

Devotion for the Week...

Sometimes when I read the Bible, a particular passage will strike me differently even though I know I've read it before. This past week that happened with 2 Peter 1:5-8, which says, "Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I read it over a couple of times, all the while thinking, "Christians should be at the forefront of the social justice movement." Now, you might think that's an odd conclusion to draw from the passage, but hear me out!

Moral excellence means doing what is right. 

Godliness means acting as God would act. What would Jesus do, as it were.

Brotherly affection means caring for others as though they were family.

And love for everyone...well, that means exactly what it says. Love. For everyone.

All of these character traits point toward treating other people with respect and dignity. Nowhere does it say the brotherly affection only applies to people who look like us or believe like us or have the same social standing as us or the same language as us or anything else. In fact, Peter goes on to say we should have love for everyone. There's nobody left out when we say 'everyone'.

Then, in verse 8, Peter writes that we become more productive and useful the more we grow in these qualities. What an interesting thought! I feel like Peter is saying that the more these traits grow in our lives, the more our actions will reflect them. And the more our actions reflect these traits, the more useful our knowledge of Jesus becomes.

Christians should be the ones fighting for clean water in every community, regardless of who lives there, because we all need clean water. Christians should be the ones affirming that Black lives matter because they do and society has acted as if they don't for way too long. Christians should be the ones working to address food insecurity, because no child should go hungry.
Are people being treated with dignity and respect? | DevotedQuilter.com
There are so many more issues, but they all hinge on the same thing. Are people being treated with respect and dignity? If the answer is no, what are we doing about it?

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