Blindness: lack of perception, awareness, or judgment; ignorance
Honor: high respect; great esteem
I have a friend who thinks most churches teach on a high school level and that they really don’t push the truth to any degree for personal challenge, so every Sunday is not much more than some topical class. I suppose that could be true in some churches, but I’m a firm believer that you get out of any service the same measure that you come expecting. If you expect that it will be no more than a high school class, then that will be what you get out of it. I told this friend that I get something out of even the most boring sermons because there is always something new to discover and I look for it until I hear it, then I write it down. I have picked up many blog themes this way. In fact, the two words I am using today came into focus for me as the result of a boring sermon. I heard them used and found them intriguing.
Those two words that caught my attention do not relate in any way to each other until you put them together. Once you put ‘blindness’ with ‘honor’ you then see how they can relate.
Blindness is a big theme in the Scriptures. God calls His people blind; unable to see the truth or to see what God is trying to do in the land.
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
Let me tell you how these two words relate to me.
Blindness keeps us away from knowing God. Our hearts are darkened, and that darkness replaces all the blessings of knowing God.
The companion word I am using for this blog is the word honor. Honor is one of those words we fail to use on a regular basis. When I’m in my car, my usual routine is to tune into conservative talk radio. I like the politics I hear, but too often dishonor comes along with it. If I listen too long, I get the idea that it’s okay to dishonor someone who has a different political point of view than I do. I find myself agitated hearing about all the political people who have no interest in helping the people of this country … they seem to be interested only in the agenda of their party’s platform. To me, that is not honorable and it is difficult for me to show them honor. Yet, honor is not tied to the merit of a personality, nor is it tied to the ideology of a person. Honor says it will hold people in high esteem, even if you would disagree with them:
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
Are we blind to showing honor to people? Especially people we don't like or agree with? How about someone who has taken advantage of you, and caused great harm to you or your family … how do we honor people like that? Well, it’s not easy, and I’m sure you can find sources to tell you all sorts of things, short of murder, of what you can do to them … honor is not one of them.
Now, I don’t want to get into the weeds on this, but there is one thing we can all do to honor people, even those who do not deserve honor. We don’t honor behavior that breaks the law or causes injury to others, but can we honor their humanity regardless of their behavior? Does God instantly hate the adulterer or the murderer? He does not condone the behavior, but His love remains intact for them because He created them. King David has always been my go-to person on matters such as this because his behavior with Bathsheba was despicable. Yet, God did not smite him on the spot but He allowed his life to play out. In time, David’s sin did come back to punish him in his family, and ultimately at the end of his life, he wasn’t allowed to build a temple for God. My point is honor goes beyond behavior. The Fifth Commandment is to honor your father and mother … it doesn’t say they have to be good parents to deserve it.
Therefore, my conclusion is that we are ‘blind to honor’ because we tie honor to the behavior. My expectations were not fulfilled by the relationship, so I no longer like you, nor do I honor you as a friend, spouse, co-worker, or whatever.
I believe everyone should be shown honor, even in the most intense situations because honor is still required by God in how we treat people. We honor people because they are God’s creation, and we let Him deal with their behavior.
Matthew 5 38You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler