« Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. » (1 Samuel 2:29-30)
A prophet was sent to announce to Eli that the Lord was rejecting his household. What a tragedy! Eli was the high priest at the time, yet his sons were committing all kinds of sin and debauchery. Eli had served God but had not raised his children in the ways of the Lord, and this was a dishonor. One thing that the Lord is doing in our day is restoring the priesthood of parents, especially fathers, in the home of every believer. Only by honoring God can we learn to honor one another. The Lord will come to the house where He is honored, where His word is honored, and where His people are honored.
Honor is the outward manifestation of authentic love and respect felt in the heart. It may be easier to honor God because He is perfect. It may seem difficult to honor others, but we soon learn that the spirit of honor is actually the fruit of decisiveness and the renewing of the mind. This is seen in exhortations such as Romans 12:17: « Repay no evil for evil but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. » In fact, this attitude makes us overcomers, inasmuch as we allow insults and persecutions to put into practice verse 21 « Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. » The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:21 – « we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. »
Dishonor grieves the heart of God. The only way to overcome fleshly reactions it to REPLACE them with godly reactions. For example, « Bless and do not curse. » or « Let all things be done for edification. » Cultivating kingdom values therefore requires a conscientious effort to crucify the flesh and allow the Spirit to dwell and reign and react in a godly manner … in every situation. The Spirit of God within us reveals the value of those around us, and teaches us to respond in a manner that will glorify the Lord. We may not be able to approve of someone’s actions, but we can learn to honor the individual because he or she is created in the image of God. Let us become vessels of honor.
ACTION POINT: Begin your own Bible study on the words « honor » and « honorable » and allow the Word of God to renew your mind.
PRAYER TARGET: Repent for dishonor in your attitude, reactions and words. Ask the Lord to show you what He sees when He considers a particular person. Pray for the grace to treat people the way God does.