“Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another”.
Eph 5:21 EHP
In the world at large most people want to be “Number One”. There is, in most of us, a will to power. If we can get into a position where we can call the shots and give the orders then that suits us fine. That’s what “getting on” is all about - or so we suppose. What is more, we have a healthy respect, and even admiration, for those who “get to the top”. Usually getting to the top brings prestige - and more money as well. In addition those of us who don’t get to the top are envious of those who do. We regard them as “having it made”.
Paul calls Christian disciples to take the exact opposite view of their relationships with their fellow disciples. By calling them to “be courteously reverent” to one another he is telling them not to crave to dominate each other. His reason is of crucial importance - it is “out of respect for Christ”. Paul knew that often - indeed usually - people who dominate others ride roughshod over them, offend them and hurt them. They do not care for the feelings of others. Their attitude is usually, “Blow you Jack, I’m all right”.
The norm for the Christian believer is to love as Christ loved, and that means showing care and concern for others in the Christian society. And all are to be “courteously reverent”, not just those who may be poorer, younger, or lacking in social standing. The rich and highly educated and those who may be regarded as having important status - they are to be equally as “courteously reverent” to everyone else as well. It is the way of Christ.
Lord, help me to respect and love other people.