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Sunday, June 17, 2012

More About Honor

Father's Day 2012

Have You Paid Your Debt of Honor?
Kerrville Daily Times Article
June 7th 2012
Kathleen Maxwell (C)

Last time I wrote, I wrote on the subject of honor and a number of people shared of how it spoke to them. I decided to write more on the subject as it has stayed on the forefront of my mind the past few weeks. Honor is defined as giving high regard or esteem to someone or something; a source of credit or esteem; showing worthiness; merited respect.
Romans 13:7 says, “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect then respect; if honor, then honor.” (NIV) When I read this passage this past week, it really made me think differently about honor.
I never had thought of it as being something that I was indebted to give, but scripture makes it pretty plain that we need to give what we owe to others.
So whom do you owe honor and respect to? What people in your life, work place, church or community can you show honor to? I talked about honoring others with our words in my last article, and this is important, but there is an even better way to show honor and it is with  our actions. Isaiah 29:13 address this in a pretty direct way saying, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Actions speak louder than words. What are your actions showing others?  
In I Samuel 18:4, Jonathan was the son of King Saul. Jonathan was a prince, and he honored David, his friend by giving him his robe along with his tunic, bow, sword and belt. Jonathan’s actions revealed his heart and respect to someone of lower social stature. Notice the example that is set for us. The person of higher rank honored the one of lesser social status. Jonathan gave his best to raise David up and demonstrated his honor and respect for his friend. Leaders have tremendous power to raise others up. If you are in a place of leadership, you have a greater responsibility to honor others, especially those that you have the responsibility to lead. 
Do your actions honor others or dishonor them? Our actions do one or the other. Personally, I have really examined myself to look for those around me I can honor in anyway with my words as well as my actions. We need to look for how we can be generous in our giving and see it as a debt we have. Imagine if we tried to out give each other in honor. It would certainly make Kerrville a better place. I have tried in different ways this past week, from giving compliments to the clerk at the place I get iced tea to the person sitting next to me at a training. I love seeing the joy it brings to them and the smile it puts on their faces.
One reason I believe we have a hard time honoring others is that our pride gets in the way. Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom and humility comes before honor.” In order to honor someone else with our words and actions, we must be willing to humble ourselves. We must be willing to take a step down in order to raise someone else up. Check yourself. Is it easy for your to compliment others, praise them for what they do that is good? If not, you could have a problem with pride. 
Proverbs 18:12 states, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud; but humility comes before honor.” Again, scripture shows us the necessity of humbling ourselves to honor others. It would do us all good to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves with pride. If there is someone in your life that it is difficult for you to compliment or be kind to, it could be your own pride in your relationship with them that is getting in the way.
You and I have tremendous power in our hands to raise those around us up to a higher place as we honor them. Let’s make a real effort to honor and bless others by being generous with honoring one another.
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding California and author of various books wanted to see God move in a greater way in his community. He states in one of his books and on YouTube how his church began to develop a culture of honor by honoring people of faith that brought great moves of God in past history. Even though many of them have been gone, he honored their families. He felt this was important as he states in his blog post Feb. 2, 2009, “Most of them died misunderstood and rejected by mainstream. Yet, they released great blessings upon the church.”  
God is sneaky sometimes, and uses the most unlikely people to accomplish his purposes. He often times uses the ordinary, not the most qualified. This is the heartbeat of the New Testament when you look at the disciples Jesus chose. Jesus, honored the ordinary and chose them. He is simply looking for those that have a heart to know him more, and a passion for others to know him too.  
Psalms 84:11 says, “...the Lord bestows favor and honor.” Psalms 8:5 talks about God’s heart for his people and says he has crowned them with glory and honor. If God Almighty can honor us, people that mess up often, we certainly have a debt to honor those around us. Will you join me in honoring those you run into today and tomorrow? They may not be perfect people, but if we simply love and honor with our actions and our words, I believe our community will receive an upgrade, a greater release of God’s power, and will be a better place. Will you join me in restoring the lost art of honor? Let’s just do it!

Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. Contact her at kathleen

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