First of four Word Studies of 1 Peter 2:17
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).
One of the overriding principles taught in the New Testament is that we as Christians imitate Christ in the daily conduct of our lives. The Epistle of First Peter seems to be especially rich in such teaching.
“Honor” means to pay respect to or to esteem others. “All people” literally includes all human beings, regardless of their status in life. In fact, a part of our honoring God is to show respect not only to our fellow Christians but also to all other human beings with whom we interact. Such a principle does not mean we approve of sinful actions: it just means we treat others with decency and respect with the hope we can influence them to come to Christ.
Following this principle requires us to develop all of those qualities centered around patience, including being long-suffering, avoiding outbursts of anger, tolerating non-sinful mannerisms that may annoy us, and just generally accepting that it is okay for human beings to behave differently in matters of liberty.