Posts Tagged ‘Honor’



March 21, 2014

“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”   Matthew 15:7-9

office space1Hypocritical honor is inexorably linked with authority in a world that seeks favor.

I receive authority through the position that my municipal clients hire me to fulfill.  I have been complemented and praised by those with pending applications.  My opinions have been sought as a wise advisor by those to whom want my favor.  My friendship has been elicited by those under my authority.

I understand that much of the honor that I have received while residing in even limited authority is not genuine.

Much of the honor lavished upon those in positions of authority comes only by lips.  I know what it is like to hear words of praise and then observe actions that reveal a contrary heart.  Hypocritical honor is merely an acceptable form of bribery offered in hopes of receiving favor.  There is an astonishing variety of insincere honor that can be observed in our daily lives:

Children learn early to honor their parents in order to manipulate favor.

In hope of obtaining better grades, students heap adoration upon teachers and professors.

Incompetent officials are rarely challenged for want of a favorable future decision.

The camaraderie of managers is regularly fostered for job security.

In hope of getting out of a ticket, traffic violators will pile upon the officer layers of polite respect.

Politicians are often honored solely due to their elected position and not for anything they have done (or despite what they have done).

offficespace2Most of us have succumbed to hypocritical honor.  It is how we get through many of the ubiquitous layers of authority in our daily lives.  Hypocritical honor is a danger whenever authority is present in an association.  We all want favor and we can slide into insincere honor of those in authority without even being aware of what we are doing.

There is no higher authority than God.


We all want God’s favor and blessings in our lives.

God the Father 04

God the Father 04 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

This combination of authority and desire for favor is ripe for hypocritical honor.  Everyone is in danger of sliding into an insincere attitude toward God without even realizing what we are doing.  The religious, those who have grown up in the Church, and those adept with Christian culture, are the most susceptible.  This was Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees lavished words of praise and esteem to God but they did not love God.

But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  (Luke 11:42)

God is like no other.  He has established a relationship with those who are His that is not based upon authority and favor.  God showed His love (favor) to this world by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, into world so that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will not perish but have eternal life.  For those who are in Christ, the relationship with God has fundamentally changed.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  (John 15:15)

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:12-13)

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.  (Galatians 4:7)

In our new relationship with God, we are to relate to Him as our loving Father.  We are to seek Christ as our friend.

We should never come to our Father, heaping words of adoration in hopes that He will not whack us – that is hypocritical honor and He hates it.

We should never be obedient in hopes of obligating favor from God’s authority – that is what a slave does and it is hated by God.

Our actions should originate out of love for our heavenly Father; it should be demonstrated by a friendship with Christ.  It is why Christ said:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

We can know our honor is sincere when it is demonstrated through obedient actions willingly given from a heart motivated only by love.  May we examine our hearts so that what comes out of our lips reflects a heart that is living in the favor of a new relationship as a child of God.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for sending us your Son to give us a new relationship with you.  Forgive me for reverting to my old slave mentality of seeking your favor through heartless words and actions.  Forgive me for not treating you as my friend and Father.  Forgive me for being a hypocrite.  Help me to live in your love.  Help me to respond to you in love in all my words and deeds. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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October 28, 2013

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since, they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”  1 Peter 3:7

Mall food court

Mall food court (Photo credit: Gaulsstin)

When I accompany my wife on a clothes shopping trip, I have an abundance of time.  I seek out the bench or chair, tucked away in some corner to make husbands feel less self-conscious of their surroundings.  While my wife beats every sales rack for the elusive prey of reasonably fitting jeans, I watch people.

You can learn a lot about a person by watching how they treat people.

Particularly revealing is the interaction of couples.  The shock of high divorce rates will no longer be a surprise once you spend a little time in the mall.  I sit in my little observation corner, watch, and shake my head:

I have seen a man marching down the middle of the aisle, barking orders over his shoulder to the mother of his children and their progeny.  I see a loud, manly, man with little regard for the impact of words.

I have seen a fashionista ricocheting down the aisle, enamored by the glamorous contents of sales racks with passing concern for the burdened man-servant kept in waiting.

I see a group of couples meandering along.  I hear a boy make a joke.  I see the payoff of laughs that he receives and I can see the impact on his girlfriend, who has to pay the bill.

I watch a family with every hair in place and every shirt tucked in.  There are obvious exacting standards at work within the family.  I wonder if those standards are held in place by one of the spouses demanding and unrelenting obsessive compulsions.

I watch a pack of young men ogle someone’s daughter with the same demeaning assessment as they make when purchasing a steak.

I watch young women freely displaying their produce in the proud manner of a farmer.

I cringe at what I hear.  The grate on my nerves comes from both what is spoken but also how words are expressed.  The honoring word is a rarity.  The respectful phrase seems endangered.

Couple talking on the Seine bank, Paris

Couple talking on the Seine bank, Paris (Photo credit: Laurent Scheinfeld ;-))

We should not be surprised by the difficulty that we have in our relationships when you consider how elusive the gentle and quite spirit seems to be.

Peter encourages our marriages to be characterized by honor and respect.  Men and women have different roles but honor for one another should be evident as we conduct our lives together.  Consider all of the problems that arise when we fail to honor each other.

I will inevitably hurt my wife if I am rude to her.
I will inevitably alienate my wife if I am indifferent to her.
I will inevitably crush my wife’s feelings if I am forceful to her.
I will inevitably devalue my wife if I refuse to listen to her.

When I respect and honor my wife as a fellow heir of Christ, it makes it easier for her to be respectful and honoring of me.  Her subsequent response to me makes it easier to honor her more.  The cycle of honor can become a wonderful catalyst to oneness between a man and woman.

I know of only one spring that produces this precious catalyst.  Marital honor flows from the spring of a gentle and quiet spirit.  Peter encouraged the women:

Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.  1 Peter 3:3-4

However, this is not just an encouragement for women.  Men are encouraged, multiple times, to have the same spirit; to be gentle and to be slow to speak.  The admonition to have a gentle and quiet spirit is for both men and women in our specific God ordained roles.  We are encouraged to have the same spirit because it is the fruit of the Spirit of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Galatians 5:22-23

How much our relationships would improve if we were more gentle with one another?

How many conflicts between men and women would be averted if more self-control was employed?

This is why you can learn a lot about a person by watching how they treat other people.  The fruit of our spirit is on display in how we treat other people, particularly our spouse.  No one can hide their spirit within the closeness of marriage.

We have problems in our marriages because we don’t have enough respect and honor.

We don’t respect and honor one another because one or both spouses lacks a gentle and quiet spirit.

We don’t have gentle and quite spirits because we lack the fruit of the Spirit.

We lack the fruit of the Spirit because we are not walking in the Spirit.


couple (Photo credit: Michael Sarver)

For those who are single, do not be blinded by your desire for a relationship.  A prospective spouse should be evaluated on the fruit of the Spirit in his life.  You should know where he walks before you join him.  Is he walking in the Spirit or does he spend more time walking in the world?  There will come a time when the fog of romance burns away.  If you want to be in a relationship that is built on honor and respect, then it has to start on the sure foundation of Christ.  Do not settle for second best.

The same is true for marriage.  Marriage is a beautiful dance of individuals, maturing through time.  There are times when partners can get out of rhythm.  The beauty of a marriage between fellow heirs of Christ is that there is a unity of Spirit that can be relied upon.  It is the fruit of the Spirit that sets the beat of our hearts.  When our steps are in concert with the Spirit, the catalyst of honor and respect will start to spring forth in glory to our Father as a couple lives as servants of God.

The honor and respect in our relationships tells us a lot about our walks with God.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for my wife.  Thank you for her gentle and quiet spirit.  Thank you all the work that you are doing in her life that has produced such wonderful fruit from your Spirit.  Father, continue to do that work.  Continue to do that work in me.  Lord, give me a gentle spirit.  Give me a quiet spirit.  Teach me how to honor my wife like I should.  Help me honor her in my thoughts, actions, and words.  May our marriage bring glory to you as we strive as a couple to serve you.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.



January 8, 2013

“…Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John5:23b

English: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ar...

English: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. –CJKpi 18:58, 10 June 2007 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have never been to Washington DC.  I am excited because we are starting to plan a trip for sometime in the future.  Our kids are at the perfect age to go and see so many of the sites that we have only read about or seen on TV.  One of the sites that I want to go to is Arlington National Cemetery.

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to honor all of those who have made the greatest of sacrifice for my country.  Specifically, I want to pay my respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watch the tomb guards.  The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. This monument is guarded by Sentinels.  I love the fact that these guards are not just ceremonial.  They will confront anyone who crosses the line, is loud or otherwise disrespectful.  They are active military soldiers who have volunteered for this duty of ensuring that our fallen soldiers are shown the honor that their sacrifice has earned.  They take that duty very seriously.

Honor to where honor is due.

It is easy for me to give honor to those who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  I have the deepest respect for them so honor is easy in that case.  Honor is also easy when all it costs me is a moment of silence or taking my hat off.  I don’t mind giving that sort of honor at a sporting event, a memorial, or a funeral.

Honor is more difficult when it demands something of me.  I don’t tend to seek out honor in those cases.  We all live under some authority in one form or another.  Authority in our normal, daily lives tends to demand something of us.  It never seems to go very well for anyone who tries to disrespect what that authority demands of us.

The greatest honor that we can show to the authority that is over us is to do what they say.  We honor our government by obeying the law.  We honor our boss by working hard and doing what we are told.   We honor teachers by not cheating.  We honor our Pastors and Elders by following their leading.  A wife honors her husband by following his leading. Children honor their parent by doing what they are told.

This is a lesson that we are continually working on with our kids.  We want our kids to respond to our direction the first time it is made.  I don’t want to have to tell them to do something three or four time and then have to “lower the boom” to get them moving.  It is a lesson that we as parents are continually fighting to be consistent with.

It is so important.  The reason it is so important is because of honor.  My kids are disrespecting me when they disregard my request and refuse to do what I have asked.  They are failing to honor my position of authority – parent.  My daughter tries to manipulate me with a hug and “I love you so much.” I know that she loves me.  I love her very much.  However, her honoring me as a parent entails her doing what I tell her.  When she doesn’t do what I ask, she is demonstrating that she loves herself more than she loves me.

I want her to honor me not because of my position of authority as her father, but out of her love for me.  I want her to honor me and do what I ask because she loves me.  That is the highest form of honor; to show respect not because you have to but because you want to.

Jesus is due the greatest of all honor because of his position.  Jesus is our judge.

“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son…” (John 5:22)

It is that position of authority that merits our respect of Jesus, whether we love him or not.  Jesus is our judge and due our honor:

“…that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.  Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23)

It is the fact that Jesus sits on the judgment seat for all of mankind that he is due the respect of that position of authority. The greatest disrespect that could be given is to not do what he has told us to do; to not believe what he has said.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Ultimately, those who reject Christ are rejecting His position of authority; they don’t believe He has a position of judgment or that there is one.  It will not go well for anyone who is disrespectful enough to question Christ’s authority.

There are many who have heard Christ’s word and have made a confession of belief in him but have left their honor of their Savior at that level.  They don’t mind honoring God if it doesn’t require much of them.  They don’t mind a moment of silence or having to take their hat off; they don’t mind going to Church on Sunday or attending a few Church functions.

Jesus requires a demonstration of an honor that requires so much more than that.  Jesus requires all of us.  Many of us may play the “I love you so much” card with God but that does not get us out of honoring him with everything that we are.  You may love God.  If you are in Christ, then God loves you very much.  However, when you don’t do what God has told you to do, then you are demonstrating that you love yourself more then you love him and you are dishonoring Him.  Your depth of love for God does not relieve you of your obligation to honor God. Your willingness to honor God reveals what you love most.

The greatest love that we can show our Lord and Savior is to do what he tells us to do, the first time, not because we have to (which we do) but because we love him and want to.

That is the honor that Jesus wants; obedience that comes originating out of love.

Honor to where honor is due from a heart of gratitude, appreciation, and love.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for the lack of honor that I have shown you through the disobedience of my life.  My stomach turns at the though of it.  Thank you for being so long-suffering of my foolishness.  Thank you for abounding in steadfast love of me, such a disrepectful punk.  Lord, you are worthy of all of my praise and all of my obedience.  Father, help me in my obedience; continue to create in me a heart that desires you more than anything else.  Help me to die to my own selfish flesh.  Lord, may I live a life that demonstrates my utmost love for you through my obedience.  Amen

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