Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Sadly, it is no longer uncommon for speakers or writers to refer to the President of the United States (or anyone in a position of leadership) in a dishonoring or disrespectful manner. Gone are the days of decorum when courtesy, honor, and propriety took precedence over personal desires. Honor always has a place—a place that should be preserved.
King Saul of Israel was a king who failed in his responsibilities as king. It would have been easy for his successor, David, to point out Saul’s flaws after he died in battle. But David wrote a eulogy for Saul (2 Samuel 1:17-27) in which he pointed out Saul’s strengths: his bravery in battle and his esteem among his subjects. In other words, David looked for ways to honor God’s anointed. Just as God put Saul in place in Israel, He puts civil rulers in place as well (Romans 13:1-7). Regardless of what we think of God’s appointees, we honor them because we honor Him.
If there is someone in whom you have lost confidence or by whom you have been hurt, look for ways to honor that person as a way to honor God. Bearing the image of God makes everyone worthy of honor.
Let’s be the people who, even as we speak with conviction, are marked by kindness and respect.