1 Peter 2:17 – “Honor everyone, and love the family of believers, fear God, and respect the king (President).
Life is made up of relationships, and how we treat relationships will always determine the level of maturity that we will grow too. We all need relationships that will challenge us and help us grow. Through growth we become stronger, more mature, and better people. The truth is that many people run away from these types of relationships not realizing that they are limiting their own growth. I used to do that with gay people. Because I did not agree with their lifestyle, I would avoid them, not realizing that I wasn’t living out the love that I professed as a believer. Then one day the Holy Spirit convicted me of this, so I started reaching out and having uncomfortable conversations. Uncomfortable in the sense that it was challenging to me, probably for them also. But by me honoring these people who I disagreed with it challenged me and grew me to truly love as Christ loves. Honoring one another is not about agreeing. In fact, honoring one another is really only tested when we don’t agree. The test of honor is when we disagree, are we still going to be honoring to one another. Relationships teach us about ourselves. How we treat others, how we speak about others, and how we love others. All of that is a reflection of my heart to honor.
The Bible makes it clear in Proverbs 27:17 -“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” If we go through life just looking to be in relationship with people that we agree with, our lives will be shallow. And if we walk out on people that we don’t agree with we will never grow. Relationships are to sharpen us to be stronger and better people, reflecting the love of God. When two swords are being sharpened by each other they are knocking off the rough and dulled edges, making a sharper and more effective sword for battle. What happens when we don’t honor one another, is that we lose the opportunity to be sharpened and we will not be prepared for the next battle the enemy brings our way. Again, being an honoring person is only proven and tested through disagreement. It doesn’t require us to be honoring when we always see eye to eye and agree. The true measure of who we are is proven through how we treat each other when we don’t agree.
The Bible is filled with verses that indicate to us who we are to honor. Honor the Lord, Honor your father and mother, Honor your wife, Honor those in authority, Honor your boss, and Honor pastors. In fact, God says, “to give double honor to pastors” 1 Timothy 5:17. 1 Peter 2:17 – “Honor everyone,” covers everybody else, no one is left out. The word honor refers to how we respect and treat others. If I’m to be an honoring person then I am to respect and treat you with honor, especially when we don’t agree. When we are honoring people we will not just walk out on relationships, we will honor the relationship by treating it with respect. We must be honoring to others by being an honoring person. Honor is not something that others have to earn; honor must be who I am. Being an honoring person is not determined by anyone else other than me. You can disrespect me, hurt me, and lie about me, but that doesn’t change who I am. I am still commanded to honor everyone.
So, what does honor look like? To be an honoring person means that when we disagree with someone (that we’re in a relationship with), we have a responsibility to sit with that person and have an honest and respectful conversation with them. Jesus gives us this instruction and command in Matthew 18:15 – “If a brother or a sister has offended you, (that means that you don’t agree about something) then go to them in private.” Sometimes I think that we think that Jesus just made good suggestions. Jesus gave us instructions to be obeyed; and when we don’t, that’s called sin. Jesus makes it very clear that in order to honor the relationship, that you don’t call, text, or Facebook other people to voice your disapproval. You go straight to the person that has offended you in an attempt to reconcile. God’s love for us was proved by Him extending reconciliation to us when we we’re in direct opposition and disagreement with Him (Romans 5:8). We prove how mature we are by living for reconciliation with others. The biggest issue that the world has with the church is that most people in the church don’t even try to reconcile relationships, they just walk out on them. Even the world knows that’s not love. So, the world just looks at us (The Church) and calls us hypocrites. They say, “why would I want anything to do with people who can’t even love each other”. If we would grow up to the point of understanding how important and valuable relationships are, especially Godly relationships, then we would begin to honor each other.
My prayer for you today is that you would realize how important it is to be an honoring person.
Pointing People to Jesus,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”