Relationships

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 relationships, we become stronger, mature, and better people. The truth is that many people run away from relationships that challenge them not realizing that they’re 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 genuinely love as Christ loves. Honoring one another is not about agreeing. In fact, honoring one another is 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 our hearts.

Honoring one another is not about agreeing.

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 a relationship with people that we agree with our lives will be shallow and dull. And if we cut off 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 take being 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. In 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 am to be an honoring person then I am to respect and treat you with honor, especially when we don’t agree. If you are going to grow and mature spiritually this is not optional. Honoring others is a command. 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 yourself. 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.

People that are Honoring people do not just walk out on relationships.

So, what does honor look like? To be an honoring person means that when we disagree with someone (that we are in a relationship with), we have a responsibility to sit with that person and have an honest and respectful conversation with them. I have pastor friends in whom we disagree on certain things, but we are still in a relationship and respectfully express our differences. We don’t allow our difference to cause us to be dishonoring to one another. 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 some good suggestions. Jesus gave us instructions to obey; and when we don’t, that’s called sin. Jesus makes it clear that to honor the relationship, you go straight to the person that has offended you to reconcile. You don’t call, email, text, or invite people over your house to express your disapproval. That is sin and immature people do that. God does not give us a default clause because you don’t think that the other person will listen to you. You are still responsible to go and talk face to face with that person. God’s love to us was proved by Him extending reconciliation to us when we were in direct opposition and disagreement with Him (Romans 5:8). We prove how mature we are by living for reconciliation with others. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus describes an honoring person with an awesome promise. Matthew 5:9- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Honoring people are people that seek peace with those that they disagree with. 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. And 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 ones, brothers, and sisters, then we would begin to honor each other.

When we don’t attempt to reconcile relationships, Jesus calls that sin.

My prayer for you today is that you would realize how important it is to be an honoring person. Your life and health are dependent upon it.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers 

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”