Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV
Honor, respect, reverence – words almost unfamiliar these days…
So often mentioned for the child of God: “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:16); “Show proper respect for everyone” (1 Peter 2:17); “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him.” (Psalm 33:8).
As a little girl I never thought of responding with anything less than 'Yes Sir' or 'No Ma’am'. What would the reaction to this conversation be these days? “Paris, would you go get our guest as glass of iced tea?” “Yes, ma’am.” As the little girl returns she hands the visitor the glass. “Paris, thank you so much. Would you like to pet my puppy?” “Yes, sir. What’s his name, Mr. Johnson?” I venture to say some might even accuse a parent of being ‘too strict’.
Those once honored – soldiers, elderly, statesmen, pastors – have lost all recognition for their wisdom or sacrifice.
In our day those with wrinkles and failing health are considered a drain on our resources and thus we no longer honor them. Children are taught self-esteem, no mention of others. Now we revere someone based on their income, their power, their athletic prowess, or popularity.
We have lost our way, but with loving wisdom God leads us back. The second half of 1 Peter 2:17 above says, “love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” And again, our verse from Romans reminds us of the devotion of brotherly love and honoring others above ourselves.
Philippians chapter two reminds us to be humble, to honor others. Why is this important to God? Could it be that we can be more fully used by Him when we are empty of self and looking out for others? Could it be that living in peace with one another comes when our focus is off ‘me’ and on Him?
Baby Steps Toward Honor:
Father, let the desire of our hearts be to honor You. Show us how in each encounter with Your creation and Your people. It doesn’t come naturally, because we tend toward elevating self. Help us remember the servant's heart of Your Son. In Your great love for us, guide us into a lifestyle that seeks to honor others before ourselves, and seeks to give You glory at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.