I went to church Sunday at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville where I’m a member, but I also caught an on-line sermon by Dave Buehring from Grace Chapel Church in Franklin, TN. It sure got my attention when he said: “We need to outdo one another in showing honor.”
God shouts to us about our “obedience”, but the word, “honor” actually appears more times in the Bible. It must be important to God!
Romans 12:10 (ESV) fully instructs: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” John MacArthur, one of the noted theologians of our time adds: “Honor is to be devoted to other Christians with a family sort of love, not based on personal attraction or desirability. This quality is the primary way the world can recognize us as followers of Christ,” says MacArthur. “To outdo one another is to show genuine appreciation and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first.”
Dave explained that honor is something that we all desire, but if we don’t receive it from others, we build it for ourselves. This is where we get into big trouble: if we don’t feel honored, we affirm ourselves and get all puffed up with ego and pride – we feel entitled.
But, it is hard to show honor until we have received honor. Showing and receiving honor is important to our emotional, spiritual, and physical health. We need to give honor to our wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, children, business associates, well, EVERYBODY! (1 Peter 2:17)
Pastor Buehring also cautions us that before honor comes humility. We must admit our sinfulness before God before we deserve honor. We honor what we value by placing our time, best resources and energy there. When we dishonor a person we mean that we don’t see their value. In the Bible, value is determined by one’s performance or based upon one’s character.
Dave challenged us again by saying: “What if there are people in your life that you can’t honor based upon their performance or character?” Dave reminds us that the Bible instructs us to honor them solely because they are made in God’s image. Others should honor us, too, solely because we are made in God’s image.
What is the Language of Honor?
1. Acceptance- you are a valuable addition to my life. It doesn’t mean I agree with everything you say or do, but I embrace you where you are.
2. Appreciation- we need to say, “thank you so much for what you have done for me.”
3. Approval- expressions of agreement and commendation for what they have done.
4. Admiration- you’ve set a standard that I want to live up to (often our insecurities won’t allow us to do admire someone else!)
5. Affirmation- I think you are valuable and I want you to know that.
6. Acknowledgement- public affirmation—I think you are valuable and I will praise you in public!
The Language of Honor is our antidote to modern day entitlements— We must become a grateful and thankful person to avoid a hardened heart, for Romans 1:21 (ESV) says: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Starting today, I will honor God and the people in my life. I pray you will join me.