Living A Life of Honor
Honor brings life; therefore we cultivate high levels of respect in all relationships and speak with respect, even if we are in disagreement.
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:12-19 (Also Deuteronomy 26:18-19; Ephesians 6:2-3;1 Peter 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:1-3, 17-19; and 6:1-2)
There is a value that is absolutely essential to living “in sync” with the Kingdom of God; it is the value of HONOR. Honor means to treasure; give weighty consideration, esteem as valuable; as special. This honor is to flow both vertically (between us and God) and horizontally (between us and man). This honor is rightfully due to God (Father, Son and Spirit) who is preeminent over all the universe. But God made man in his image, the very crown of His creation, and gave him His honor.
For this reason God established that if He has so honored us (esteemed us as valuable), then we must regard others as valuable by honoring them. James 3:9-10 reminds us of the inconsistency of blessing God and cursing man– who’s made in His image (this would include gossip; speaking evil of; blaspheming). The home was established to train us practically how to honor God and each other. This demands a special requirement of honoring the parents (Ephesians 6:2-3). In fact, our response to our parents often determines our response to God.
The law was given, in part, to model what honoring God and honoring man would look like. You can’t honor man and kill, steal or lie to him. Because the Hebrews were custodians of this law, God promised them a special place of honor among the nations (Deuteronomy 26:18-19). Delegated authorities that are held responsible by God to enforce this order are to be honored; whether in the secular realm of government (Romans 13:1-7) or in the spiritual realm of the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12).
But honor is to flow to every person in every realm of life; whether domestically between husband and wife (Ephesians 5:33; 1 Peter 3:7); between parents or children (Ephesians 6:1-4); or at work between boss (1 Timothy 6:1-2) and employee (Ephesians 6:8-9; Colossians 4:1). The most essential place this honor is to be expressed is within the church (1 Peter 2:17); not just to the leadership (1 Timothy 5:17), but also to every member (1 Timothy 5:1-3; Philippians 2:3) out of God’s love! The scriptures teach that we are to (and therefore have the grace of God to be able to) honor even those authorities that are wrong in an issue. Paul demonstrated this in his apology after rebuking the high priest for something he did against the law (Acts 23:1-5)– Paul was right, but wrong.
Practically speaking, honor is simply responding to one another with the same level of respect, grace and acceptance with which God extends to us– ESPECIALLY WHEN WE DIFFER. (Note: Another word for honor to which we are speaking, often overused or misused, is “agape” love). God gives us the right to choose and believe differently from Him. He refuses to be threatened when we question Him. Though He would be able to do so easily, He refuses to control us. He gently but forcefully confronts us when we act in a manner that potentially damages our relationship with Him, yet He does so without force or coercion. His honor empowers us to dare “go for it,” but it carries the potential to contradict His purposes, yet for some reason He still permits it. How can respond in any lesser manner to Him or to one another? Honor would empower mutually powerful people to work together and learn from each other with incredible potential for change– “beyond what we could ever ask or think!” (Ephesians 3:20)
So how can it be justified that we see dishonor practiced in the church? Leadership is distrusted and disrespected. Members also are demeaned, judged, gossiped about and treated with neglect or disdain. Civil authorities are openly scorned and spoken of with contempt. Children disregard and reject their parents. Adults treat children as excess baggage– carried along and used for their own purpose. NO WONDER WE ARE NOT SEEING THE REVIVAL FOR WHICH WE CRY OUT! Let’s dare to see what could happen if we pursue honor in our lives, our worship and in our ministry.
- Based upon your level of worship, prayer, giving and ministry, how well do you think you have lived out the value of honor toward God?
- One a scale of 1-10 (1-never; 10-highly) how much do you think the following would say that you’ve honored them? Authorities ___ ; family members___ ; co-workers___ ; church leaders___ ; or members, ___ ; or people in general___ ?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I value and esteem the God who created, redeemed and loves me today. I am a person of honor; therefore I choose to release to others today the honor God has given them. I especially honor those in authority over the essential areas of my life. Christ’s Spirit in me guards my mouth and releases from me true honor through blessing, encouragement and edification.