I think one of the hardest disciplines is to give honor. It is easy to honor those we like or those who contribute something to us, but it is hard to honor those who disagree with us or confront us about issues.
Romans 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.
When it comes to issues like the vaccine mandates or issues of government policies we disagree with, we need to weigh out what our responses should be. Today, everything seems to be emotionally charged, and emotions that get out of control can easily divide families, split churches, and separate people. Emotions have their place, but I think we need wisdom first to review, assess, and evaluate what is the real issue that has us all upset and ready to fight. The proverb writer instructs us to seek wisdom and understanding:
Proverbs 4 5Get wisdom, get understanding; 6don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. 7Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. 9She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty.
Honoring people is wisdom and applying understanding. We start with the wisdom of honoring God by living our lives in accordance with His Word. We then live in understanding with those we live with as the Apostle Peter says, “that husbands need to live with their wives in an understanding way.”
1 Peter 3:7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
Opinions have become king of our society. Everything is an opinion. If you go to the doctor, you will get a medical opinion. If you ask a theologian, you will get a theological opinion. If you read a blog, as you are doing today, you will get another opinion. Opinions are made up of experience, education, and bias. Today, we live in the era of opinions, and we can share our opinions in more ways than ever before in the history of the world. That brings me back to honor. With so many opinions, including my own, how do I show honor to all the diversity of thoughts and ideas? I think opinions and ideas will always be debatable, but it’s the person you honor who has the opinion. He or she is a creation of God and that is what we honor. God is concerned for that person and so should we be. Remember, He allows the sunshine and the rain to fall on all those on earth even those with bad opinions.
It’s never easy to love an enemy, and most of the time we consider those we disagree with … especially politically … an enemy. Talk show hosts have learned to use the art of the opinion to stir people up in a particular way, and they are masters at making you upset. I believe that most of us who have an opinion love to hear what we believe acted out on radio or the Internet because that represents my values, my perspectives, and me. Yet, at times, I have found myself almost worshipping those opinions at the expense of dishonoring those who do not share my ideals. Our media on both sides of the aisle have been disparaging to former presidents, Bush, Obama, Trump, and now even our sitting President. I recognize that we have this precious gift called ‘freedom of speech’ but sometimes it’s just a license to malign people with whom we disagree.
Honor is hard to do in our world, yet it is a value of God. We are to honor our parents, honor the authorities, and honor one another. If we are pursuing wisdom and understanding, it must begin with honor.
Honor doesn’t say we have to agree with everyone, but it means we appreciate each individual person. You have heard the old saying, ‘love the person, hate the sin’ which is another way of stating this.
In Romans 12, we find these words: “Outdo one another in showing honor.”
And in 1 Peter 2:17 we read: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.”
So, honor is a virtue to develop in all that we think and do throughout the course of our days. Honor our boss, honor our country, honor those whose opinions are different than our own. This is how wisdom and understanding get lived out.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler