When it comes to respect, I believe we fall into two camps. Those who give it right away and those who say you have to earn it.
I’ll explain. First a definition.
From Websters: RESPECT: To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth.
With this definition in mind, I believe the first camp is the correct camp. Everyone is to be respected upon first meeting because they possess real worth. Why? Because they are made in the image of God.
God considers everyone valuable that He sent His Son to die for all of us. If God considers us worthy, why wouldn’t we?
For those of us in the second camp, which is the majority, where people have to earn our respect, I believe we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Why should people have to earn our respect? Are we better than they? More worthy?
It’s easy enough to lose respect for someone. Let’s not make respecting someone so difficult. Just do it!