Is there ever justification for disrespect?
I was accused recently of disrespect, and of teaching my children the same, so this is a question rather dear to my heart. Yes, I know that at times I have been disrespectful, and my attitude is not always what it should be. I have almost certainly been guilty of making unjustified sarcastic or slighting remarks.
My question is, can there ever be a time when truth should overwrite respect? When a wrong cannot be exposed without sullying the name of an authority figure, is it still right to expose that wrong? Or should an injustice be overlooked out of respect for the leader in question?
This is an issue that seems obvious, and yet it is not. The Bible tells us to respect those in authority over us, and yet we as Christians are also supposed to stand for the truth. When those two are in conflict, what is the solution?
In Acts 23:3-4, Paul calls Annas a whited wall, then when he is informed that this man is the high priest, he immediately apologizes. He had certainly known that the man was an official before, so was he repenting of his remark completely or was he only sorry that he had insulted the high priest, a position that God ordained?
I’ve been mulling this recently, and have several other thoughts on it, but I’d be interested to hear what the rest of you have to say. I’ll post more later.
Edited to add: I should explain that I’m not necessarily talking about name-calling, like Paul did. I simply mean that when an authority figure is questioned, it is often interpreted as disrespect, no matter how kindly it is stated.