Lately, I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking and reflecting about the people in my life. I reckon having just recently lost a precious brother who was near and dear to my heart has caused me to consider others who mean a great deal to me. Oh, my lovely wife and immediate family have definitely been on my mind. But for me, my contemplation extends way beyond them because of the vast familial connections we experience with God’s People; here locally and across the globe.
There are precious people located all over the place that have a piece of my heart. It’s okay……because I have a small piece of their’s too! 😉 The depth of relationship and degree of love is unlike any I have ever known and I know it is solely because of the revelation of Christ that we all share and our desire to walk together in the Kingdom.
The main question that has been rolling around in my head is this: Why do we wait until someone dies and then try to honor them at their funeral? Why can’t we honor them while they are present with us? I am thinking about it!
Albert Einstein once said, “Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.” I think that his quote is extremely relative here!
I grew up being told that one day in heaven, just over in the glory land, in a place where there is no more tears or sadness, we’ll get to see our loved ones and we all will be happy over there! Listen, I don’t doubt any of that…..not for minute. But, sometimes, in seeing how people treat one another here, especially family and “church” people, why in the world would they be excited to see each other over there?
Life is fragile. Our life span is short. Do not make me get all biblical here with the quotes about life being like a vapor and the grass of the field. You know it’s in there. Why do we wait to be kind, caring and affirming to those who actually mean the most to us in this life? Why don’t we freely give the forgiveness we’ve been denying? We truly need to weigh life matters according to the scale of eternity.
I have come to the conclusion that it is important to the growth, maturation and proper function of the Body of Christ here in the earth to openly and unashamedly express honor to one another.
Okay, now I have to get biblical.
There are two words used for “honor” in the New Testament.
The first word is ‘doxa’ – which means having an opinion, judgment or view. This word is inextricably tied together with ‘glory’. In essence, this word means that if a person meets our expectations or standards then we will affix praise and adoration accordingly. For instance, in the world’s system, if someone can run fast, jump high and throw a ball far, we will call him a hero, support him to make millions of dollars for playing a game and hold him up before our kids as a role model.
Oh, we do the same things in religious circles. The criteria is that they have to be able to preach like a house on fire or sing real pretty in order to “move” us but the result is still the same. We “honor” them based upon performance and meeting certain expectations.
Jesus used this word in John 5:44 when he said he did not receive honor from men because men receive honor from one another and do not seek the honor that comes from God only.
I think it is clear that this is not what I am speaking about in this post.
The second word for honor, which I am speaking of in this post, Jesus also used in John 5:23.
All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son does not honor the Father which sent him.
This word is ‘timao’ in Greek and it means to estimate, fix the value of something ; appropriately value. It does not have a fixation on expectation or performance; the value comes from ascertaining the true reason for worth. For believers, Christ invested and present in the being of our brothers/sisters is where the treasure lies.
The word is also used by Paul when he stated in Romans 12:10
Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.
We are commanded by God to give this type of honor – placing the appropriate value on someone – in these ways:
As believers, we are to appropriately value God as Father, Jesus as the Son and the Lamb slain. As believers, we are to appropriately value all men; especially those of the household of faith!
Husbands are to appropriately value their wives. Children are to appropriately value their parents. Employees are to appropriately value their employers. Imagine, if you would, what the world would be like if appropriate value was applied to people.
Sadly, that will never be the case. However, through the resurrection Life that we have received as God’s children, the capacity to accurately honor one another is inherently vested in us. Imagine what the Church is to be like as honor is accurately portrayed. Then, we will have something to display to the world.
NOW is the time for us to honor one another; not at our memorial service! Let’s assume people are doing their best, not their worst; that they are capable not incapable; that they have a gift of Christ we are to recognize, receive and appreciate, not criticize or minimize. If we are going to come to KNOW HIM in more incredible ways, it will be through the expressions of those that He has given to us and that we have come to appropriately value! Christ is in them! He is the hope of glory!
So, what are some practical steps in appropriately valuing someone?
- Ask Father to help you appropriately estimate the Body of Christ
- Move out in faith to demonstrate honor towards others (may I suggest you start in the home/family)
- Treat people as special/identify in them what needs to valued
- Do more than what is expected
- Have a good attitude going about it
- Release all expectations of receiving in return
Remember, God so highly valued you, that He willingly gave all He had to reveal His estimation of your worth without having any promise of return on His investment! That Nature dwells in you……express it! You are HONOR able!
Keep your peace!