Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blessing of Honor

To many, honor is such a big word reserved only for those that occupy any position of authority.
However, understanding this word would dramatically improve our perspective of seeing it for special occasions only but to be applied on a daily basis. As a noun, honor in the Bible means “esteem, value, or great respect.” To honor someone is to value him highly or bestow value upon him. The Bible exhorts us to express honor and esteem toward certain people: our parents, the aged, and those in authority. Thus, honor is the value of something that causes everything around it to elevate while dishonor is to treat something as common that causes everything around it to go down. Giving honor and becoming an honorable person is something we need to achieve.

In order to understand the difference between a hypocrite and an honorable person, it is important to define them. A hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions contradict stated beliefs. An honorable person acts in accordance with or characterized by principles of honor; upright; of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished; worthy of honor and high respect; estimable; creditable; bringing honor or credit; consistent with honor.  In knowing the difference between these two, we can therefore choose carefully our attitude towards people we encounter.

How to become honorable? Allow me to share three biblical characters that epitomize this attitude. First, we need to imitate the attitude of Jabez in preserving one’s honor: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain." Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested” (NIV). The Bible says that Jabez was an honorable man—more honorable than the rest of his family. Why was that? It‘s because Jabez was not content with being average. He saw himself not just for who he was, but also for who he could be with God's blessings upon him (Stan Coffey). Mark Twain describes it concisely: “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” 

Next is to be like Daniel, who cared for his body as God’s Temple in preserving God’s honor: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (ESV). We are to honor God in our acknowledgment that the gift of eternal life was given through Jesus Christ and Him alone. In recognition of this truth, we give honor and respect to our Savior through our humble adoration and obedience to His will. As such, He will honor us when He seats us on His throne in heaven. Thomas Carlyle describes it clearly: “Show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of man you are.” 

Lastly, like Jesus, let us follow His attitude in honoring others at every opportunity: Phil 2:3-8 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” With the example that Jesus did for us during His lifetime and at the cross of Calvary, we must never lose sight of giving honor and becoming honorable at the same time, as it is not an option but an opportunity that people longs to see as God’s people.

When we fully understand the blessing of honor and its application, we can be assured that it would flow without fail, as God fulfills His promise to honor those that honors Him and others, as a result.

Let’s talk again!