Chances are you’ve been exposed to the concept of honor at some time or another. Maybe is was an actress’s acceptance speech: I’m so honored to receive this award! Maybe it was in Mulan. Whatever it is the term honor can evoke a few different emotions. Some people approach it with joy, happy to praise another. Some people look at it as something that should be earned and not given lightly. For others, the thought of esteeming someone so highly makes your eyes roll. I’m here to assure you that honor is not only right, but it’s beneficial.
Honor Is Right
Many people, including myself, have struggled with this idea because we feel it should be earned. Sometimes you’ll be put in a position where we have honor someone we don’t believe is deserving. What does God say about honor? I could quote a bunch of verses where God says to honor your mother and father. I pull verses where He tells us to submit to governing authorities, but I think He says it best in in I Peter.
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. I Peter 2:17 NLT
Need I say more?
God Honors Us
While you may know that honoring others is right, it may still be hard to extend to others. Some people in places of authority have wronged us, hurt us, and abused us. Some people ‘s character is straight up ungodly. Some, quite frankly, don’t deserve to be honored. The truth is, upon close examination of our lives, we might admit that we don’t deserve it either. The good news is God doesn’t care about what we deserve. Look at what He says to us in Isaiah.
Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4 NLT
We are all precious to God and despite our flaws, God, who is perfect, honors us.
Honoring others can be hard. God knows this, and He rewards us when we are obedient to Him despite the difficulty. The Bible tells us that when we esteem others as greater than ourselves, we will be elevated. When Christ humbled Himself and suffered for us, He was given authority over all and the name above all names. While we won’t have that honor, we will be exalted.
But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 NLT