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As a teenager, you have a lot of authority figures in your life. Some are good leaders that are easy to respect, others not so much. In this lesson, we talk about how God deserves our respect, and if we want to respect him, we need to respect other authority figures as well.

Why is it that so many people show little respect for their elders and their leaders. If you look at some teenagers today, you can see how they disrespect their teachers, their coaches, or their bosses at work. But worst of all, they disrespect God.

As a student leader, you are expected to show respect God, your leaders, and, really, everyone. There are some important reasons for this.

We need to respect God because he is the awesome creator

No one can create anything like God can. Maybe you are a creative person who can cook or draw. But no matter how creative you are, none of us come close to being creative like God.

Psalm 104:1, 5 “Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty… You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved.”

God created everything! The sun, the moon, the ocean, the mountains, wind, rain, and snow. Because of that, he deserves our respect. God also created you and me. He created everyone. And this has an important implication for our lives.

We need to respect others out of respect for God.

If you say you really respect God, you need to show proper respect for others as well.

1 Peter 2:17 “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.”

You need to love other people that go to your church and youth group. But you also need to treat others with respect that may not believe the same things that you believe. And you especially need to love and respect the people that go to your school, that you work with, or who are on your sports team. This is true even if may rub you the wrong way or you just don’t like them.

This is a great way to show proper respect to God because he created everyone. As a student leader, make a choice to respect everyone, especially when students around you aren’t showing people the proper respect.

Respect leaders because God put them in place

God expects you to respect all your leaders, whether we are talking about leaders in your church or in the community, like policemen.

Romans 13:1-2 “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority come from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.”

If you disrespect your teachers, your coaches, or your boss who are you really rebelling against? Again, the answer is God. He put these authority figures in your life for a reason and we need to respect them.

They may give you too much homework, or make you run all practice, or ask you to take out the smelly garbage at work. But you still have to show them respect anyway because if you don’t, you could not only get into trouble, but you are also disrespecting God as well.

Therefore, since God is so awesome and he created everything, we need to respect him by showing proper respect to everyone. And as a student leader, you must model respect for your other students.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this article? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What teachers or coaches have you had a hard time showing respect? Why?
  4. Read Psalm 104:1-5. According to these verses, what has God done to prove that he deserves our respect? What has God done personally for your or your family that has caused you to praise, worship, and respect him?
  5. Read 1 Peter 2:17. How does respecting others also show respect towards God? How are we disrespecting God by gossiping about others or putting people down we don’t like?
  6. Read Romans 13:1-2. How does that make you feel to know that God has established every authority over you, even those you disagree with? How does showing disrespect towards authority figures in our life actually be disrespectful to God?
  7. How can you show more respect to leaders in your life?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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