“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably
with reverence and godly fear:” Hebrews 12:28
It’s hard to show hospitality without showing some form of reverence or respect for guests. Few people feel welcomed in a place where they are treated irreverently or with disrespect. Unfortunately, we tend to justify our treatment of others based on our standards instead of God’s. However, showing reverence is not based on personal perspectives.
There’s a lot of irreverence and disrespect being thrown around today and it’s not just from immature children. It’s from us adults, who should know better. Blatant disregard for others is running rampant in families, between friends, among co-workers and with strangers. No wonder people feel so unloved, unwanted, and unwelcomed.
Let’s consider what reverence is, as found in the following verses, and see how it’s defined.
“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” Psalm 89:7
Hebrew Definition: to be had in fear; morally, to revere; to frighten:
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
Greek Definition: to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere
This type of fear doesn’t make us run and hide. It’s more like the anxious trembling we feel in the presence of someone we greatly admire, revere and respect. It’s an awe that stirs nervous excitement and puts us on our best behavior.
According to Merriam Webster’s 2021 (Online) Dictionary, when we reverence someone we show them honor and respect. Respect means we have a high or special regard and esteem for them. Esteem means we set a high value on them, regard them highly and prize them accordingly.
Showing Reverence to God
God, our Creator, is worthy of our highest honor and esteem. His righteous attributes, power, wisdom, knowledge, grace and Word should put us in humble awe. Showing God reverence shows the world that we know who He is and who we are.
Showing Reverence to Husband
God’s Word gives us a similar instruction regarding husbands. It’s easy to like the verse about husbands loving their wives but we want to skip the part about giving them reverence. Why is that?
It’s true. Husbands can lose our respect when they don’t show godly love. But, how often do we disrespect them and make them feel devalued, defensive and degraded? No matter who’s at fault, our responsibility is to show reverence. (This practice could change the world.)
Showing Reverence to Others
Esteeming others better than ourselves can be difficult when it’s not reciprocated. Regretfully, our culture encourages putting ourselves first, thinking better of ourselves, demeaning others and stepping on anyone who gets in our way, which happens daily online, offline, and in line. This is not how God wants us to treat people.
Jesus exhibited reverence by humbling Himself and coming to earth to reach every person regardless of class, race, gender or age. He showed no favoritism or partiality and treated everyone with respect. If we followed His example, the world would be a more hospitable place.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
Bring It Home
Do you agree that more reverence should be shown today?
Praying for you as we grow together,