Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Honor in the Real Church

Weko Beach, Michigan

Someone in my church asked me to say some things about "honor." So here are a few ideas.

Honor is respect for other people. This does not mean you agree with everything other people say. Honor is a way of treating other people. Remember that Jesus said "Honor your father and mother." (Matthew 15:4) He does not add, "only if you agree with them about everything." 1 Peter 2:7 says, "Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." (Even the emperor? Think about it. Do not get your ethics from the media.)

Honor thinks of other people before it thinks of oneself. Romans 12:10 says, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."

Honor dignifies others. Honor does not talk negatively about people behind their back. That's called slander. Or gossip. Slander is saying something about a person behind their back that you would never say to their face.

Honor is different from flattery or sucking up to people, which are forms of dishonor. Flattery is saying something to someone's face that you would never say about them behind their back.

Honor does not gripe or complain about other people behind their back. To do that is to take what John Bevere called "the bait of Satan," and dangle Satan's bait before the ears of others.

Honor listens. Honor has "ears to hear."

Honor is a subcategory of love. Love is the great umbrella, beneath which honor is one of love's expressions. Honor is one way of expressing love.

Honor does not discriminate. 

Honor does not enable the transgressions of others. Enabling people in their failure is dishonoring. 

Dishonor is disrespect. Dishonor disses others; honor elevates others.

Dishonor judges before understanding. Honor works to understand before evaluating or judging. Judging before understanding is the game of fools; understanding before judging is wisdom.

A culture of honor extends to isolated people. Dishonor plays favorites.

Honor-able people are people capable of treating others according to their true identities, as sons and daughters of God.

Real Church cultivates an honor culture. We may not agree with everything and everyone, but we never dishonor one another.