Honor Forgotten?

Tammy Kennington, author of an article titled What Does The Bible Say about Honor? (ChristianityToday.com, June 8, 2022) says that the word Honor is mentioned 355 times in scripture.

According to Dictionary.com one definition of the word honor as a noun is:  “high respect, as for worth, merit or rank.”  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of the word honor as a verb is:  “to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect, to give special recognition to.”

From a staff article at BibleTools.org, June 1999:  “According to the thesaurus, honor has these synonyms: ‘esteem, respect, pay homage to, assigning value to.’ The Greek word translated ‘honor’ in our English Bibles, timao, means ‘to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; by implication, to revere’ (Strong’s Concordance). Showing honor, then, means treating another respectfully because we value them highly.”

But who exactly are we to honor?  

There is plenty in the Bible about how we should honor God.  But is the honor we pay Him true and honest?  We need to be cautious about that because He knows when we are being sincere and when we are not.   “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.’”  (Isaiah 29:13 NIV)  I do not think He appreciates lip service and if that is the only “honor” paid to Him there will be a price to pay at some point.  We need to value and revere Him in every way we can to show honor.

If you have studied the Bible at all, you are very aware of the many times in the Old and New Testaments that we are told to honor our parents.  One of my favorite passages is:  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord [that is, accept their guidance and discipline as His representatives], for this is right [for obedience teaches wisdom and self-discipline]. Honor [esteem, value as precious] your father and your mother [and be respectful to them]—this is the first commandment with a promise— so that it may be well with you, and that you may have a long life on the earth.”  (Ephesians 6:1-3 AMP) 

We are also to honor other people.   “Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first.”  (Romans 12:10 VOICE)  Please note that it does not say to only honor those that we care about the most, we need to extend honor – respect – to everyone.  We are all made in the image of God and regardless of how good or bad a person is, they are valuable to God and we should treat them accordingly.  Easy?  Not necessarily.  But something we should strive to do always.

You can also research and find many verses that tell us we are to submit to and honor those in authority over us – our employers and yes, that even includes politicians that we do not agree with or like.  “Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”  (1 Peter 2:13-17 MSG)

Chris Tiegreen says:  “Honor is important.  God bestows it on us, and in turn we are to recognize it in others.”  He then references Psalm 84:11 “The Lord God is our protector and glorious king. He blesses us with kindness and honor.  The Lord freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right.”  (ERV)

So my question in the title for this article questions if honor has been forgotten.  It seems to me that honor – respect – has been disappearing in our society for years.  We see people that seem to spit in the face of God and Christians.  They speak to them and treat them with total disregard and disrespect.  We see younger people totally dissing and disrespecting their parents – they disobey, they call them names, etc.  In fact, it seems even more and more young children are falling into this – but, for the most part, I put the blame for that directly onto their parents for not teaching them how to behave – liberal ideology has unfortunately moved into our families.  There does not seem to be any strong discipline used in too many young families.  

We also see total disrespect for our leaders.  Even when I do not like, or feel any true respect for our leaders, I still pray for them every day as we are told we should do.  “Pray for kings and others in power, so we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God. This kind of prayer is good, and it pleases God our Savior.”  (1 Timothy 2:2-3 CEV)  You can see that when we pray for our leaders, it says we are actually honoring God; and, the results can be quiet and peaceful lives.  Who cannot get on board with that?

Then we have the lack of honor and respect for so many others we encounter.  It seems many think that everyone has to think and act just as they do, or they and their opinions are worthless.  Families are fractured, friendships are splintered and we find ourselves sequestered into our little clicks with only those we agree with and care most about, to the exclusion of others that we should be honoring. 

We should step into each day, striving to honor everyone that we encounter as Jesus did when He was on this earth.  It is not just for their sake, but for our sake as well.  Jesus said:  “‘If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.’”  (John 12:26 MSG)

Make it your daily goal to start focusing on honor and find a way to demonstrate it to all you encounter.

Written by Karran Martin – February 25, 2023

[All bold emphasis is mine]

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