We live in a culture and age of dishonor. Whether on radio or television, the airwaves are bombarded with talk shows that seem to be discussing whose reputation they wish to destroy today. Slowly, but surely, the cruel rhetoric and bitter criticism can soon begin to creep in and infect the attitudes of our culture. If we are not careful, we can begin to think and talk in the same dishonoring way. Dishonor becomes something we accept as normal. It impacts our minds and warps the way we see and think about others. When we dishonor others, it is a sure sign we are thinking only of ourselves. The Bible says we are to love others as ourselves, even honor them. Honoring from a pure motive is possible only when we have a proper perspective of who God is, what we are, and who others are in relation to God and to us. It begins with deep honor and respect for God and for what He says in His Word. I dream of what it would be like In our society if everyone followed this principle of honor.
Honor must not stop with our own family. All older people should be honored as well. Leviticus 19:32 explicitly says, “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.” Again, God does not state any reservations or qualifiers in that verse. Honor is the standard. So, let me ask, when was the last time you saw children or younger adults automatically stand when a senior citizen entered a room? God says this should happen. It still does in some parts of the world, but not so in our own country. Some people rise for women. Why is this honoring action important? Because embedded in the center of honor is respect. Respect shows value. A culture’s values are reflected in what it respects or does not respect.
Is it beginning to become clear that honoring goes way beyond just respecting God and parents? God wants a world where respect and honor of others are the way of life for its people. Romans 12:10 says just that: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” We are to honor one another, but do we? Perhaps we should challenge ourselves to think of ways to show honor to someone—anyone—each day. When was the last time we actively and consciously honored someone? When did we last thank, write a letter of appreciation, or call someone to show respect? If we are not, maybe it is a sign that we think too highly of ourselves and not highly enough of others. Honoring one another touches all of our relationships. God is very clear about that. The standard is the same for all of us. Let’s raise the bar and not compromise the standard. Honor God, honor Christ, honor family, honor one another. Jesus appears to us today through the members of His church (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). He lives in us, so the way we interact with one another is the way we are interacting with Christ Himself. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (Verse 27).
When we obey God’s command to honor all people, we are following our heavenly Father and honoring Him. Then what happens? Jesus gives us the answer in John 12:26: “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” So first, we humble ourselves, then give honor and respect even those who might appear to be unworthy of honor and respect. God the Highest, the most Supreme Being in the entire universe, will personally give honor and glory to those who have obeyed this command. This is God’s way. This is God’s standard. The more honor we give, the more honor we will also receive.Tough as it may be, we should make it our aim to honor everyone—all the time.