What Does The Bible Say About Disrespect

Many people struggle to find out what the Bible has to say about disrespect. It’s important to note that the Bible does not specifically address this topic, but there are a number of principles that can be gleaned from scripture. Throughout the Bible, God emphasizes the importance of honoring and respecting those around us. In the New Testament, Jesus himself set the example for treating others with respect, regardless of their socio-economic or religious background. In the Old Testament, we see many of the same values of respect and honoring one another, however they are focused more on how people of the same creed should interact.

The fifth commandment in the Bible, which states “Thou shalt not honor thy father and mother,” implies that disrespecting one’s parents is a sin. The Bible also goes on to say that the commandment should be taken seriously and those who do not honor their parents will face severe consequences. Furthermore, throughout the Bible, there are verses that strongly emphasize the need to respect those in positions of authority, such as kings, bosses, and leaders. The idea behind these verses is that knowing and following the laws set forth by these authorities is a form of respect that is required from everyone.

Experts in Christian theology state that the Bible does not specifically address the concept of disrespect, but it does speak to respecting and honoring those around us. There are many verses throughout the Bible that detail the importance of respecting authority figures, parents, and other people in general. In addition, there are also verses that address how people should act when showing disrespect and how to respond when someone else has shown disrespect. Thus, it’s clear that the Bible does indeed speak about the topic, however it does not explicitly define what constitutes “disrespect” or how it should be dealt with

One of the main principles that the Bible expresses within this topic is the importance of treating others with respect and honor, no matter who they are. In Luke 6:31, Jesus says “As you want other people to do to you, do the same to them.” This implies that if we want others to treat us with respect, then we should also treat them with respect. Additionally, the Bible also speaks out against certain types of disrespectful behaviors, such as insulting others, gossiping, and speaking in a degrading or belittling manner.

In conclusion, although the Bible does not explicitly address the concept of disrespect, there are a number of clear principles that can be derived from scripture. The Bible emphasizes respecting and honoring those around us, regardless of their socio-economic or religious background. Additionally, the Bible speaks out against certain types of disrespectful behaviors. Ultimately, if we want others to treat us with respect, then we must be sure to treat them with respect in return.

Honoring Authority

The Bible also stresses the importance of honoring authority in all of its forms, whether it be the government, leaders, or parents. In 1 Peter 2:13-17, Peter encourages everyone to “honor everyone” and show respect to all people, including those “in the position of authority” such as kings and bosses. Peter also warns against rebelling against authorities, or speaking disrespectfully or maliciously towards them.

In the New Testament, Jesus endorsed this same principle, saying that “Everyone should give honor to the emperor” (Matthew 22:21) and to “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:10). Jesus also said that if we are obedient and respect those in authority, then they themselves will honor us in return (Matthew 23:11). Ultimately, the Bible stresses the importance of honoring those in positions of authority and respecting their authority.

Of course, there are also many instances in which it might be necessary to disobey certain authority figures, depending on the situation. Examples of people who disobeyed authority in the Bible include Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and Peter and John. However, even in these cases, such disobedience was never in the form of open disrespect or rebellion—instead, the protagonists simply made their views known and refused to yield to oppressive authority.

Dealing With Disrespect

When it comes to dealing with disrespectful behaviors, the Bible does have a number of teachings that give us guidance. For instance, Proverbs 12:16 tells us to “keep away from those who talk too much”—tactfully avoiding disrespect in this way can be an effective way of dealing with it.

The Bible also talks about how to handle situations in which someone is intentionally trying to disrespect or bully you. In the book of Proverbs, we read “Do not repulse a man of offense, lest you ruin yourself by his foolishness.” Here, the Bible is recommending that we try to turn the other cheek instead of responding in kind.

When it comes to someone who is constantly exhibiting disrespectful behavior, Proverbs 15:1 advises us to remain silent instead of engaging in a debate—this advice echoes Jesus’ well-known statement in Matthew 7:6 that “Do not give what is holy to dogs” (in other words, do not give those who won’t appreciate it your time and attention).

Rebuking Disrespect

The Bible does not advocate for violence or extreme forms of punishment when it comes to dealing with disrespectful behaviors. Instead, it suggests speaking to those who are being disrespectful in a calm and gentle way. In Proverbs 15:1, we find this statement: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

The Bible also encourages us to try to reconcile with the person who has shown disrespect. Matthew 18:15 suggests to “go and speak to your brother and tell him his fault”—which in this case represents speaking to the person who has been disrespectful. The Bible also advises us to “keep all peace with all men” (Romans 12:18), if possible.

Loving Our Fellow Man

At the end of the day, the Bible’s most important lesson about disrespect is that we must love our fellow man, regardless of their actions. Romans 12:10 encourages us to “Love one another with brotherly love; in honor giving preference to one another.” The Bible also reinforces this sentiment in 1 Corinthians 16:14, urging us not only to “let love be without hypocrisy” but also “abhor what is evil and cling to what is good.” In other words, we are called to uphold a higher standard and seek to love, not to hate.

Ultimately, the Bible emphasizes that as Christians, it is our duty to love each other, regardless of how we are treated. Through our love, we are able to show those around us that their behavior is not acceptable and encourage them to be interactive people of respect and honor.

Dis respecting and Judging Others

The Bible also has a lot to say about judging others and the dangers of disrespecting them. In Matthew 7:1, Jesus warns us against judging others and in Matthew 7:5 he tells us not to cast the first stone. Jesus was clear about the fact that no one should be judged for something another person has done, and he taught us to take the loving and compassionate approach rather than being critical and judgmental.

The Bible also warns against speaking disrespectfully or of others. In James 4:11-12, we read, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law and judgeth the law.” This implies that if someone speaks disrespectfully of another, then they are not just disrespecting that individual, but the law itself.

Lastly, the Bible speaks out against being unkind to others. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul emphasizes the importance of loving one another and treating everyone with kindness, regardless of how we feel about them. Paul also says in Ephesians 4:29 that “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Here, Paul is suggesting that our words should be full of encouragement and free from dishonor and disrespect.


To sum up, it’s clear that the Bible speaks to the topic of disrespect in a number of ways. From honoring those in authority to loving our fellow man, the Bible provides us with a wealth of teachings that can enable us to recognize and understand the importance of treating others with respect, no matter how they act toward us. We may not always understand the reasons behind certain people’s disrespectful behaviors but, as Christians, we are called to respond to them with love, understanding, and compassion.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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