Vying With One Another In Showing Honor

honor one anotherAs a young man being trained in “ministry”, one of the things I was taught was that I could only let people in so close and then I had to keep them at a distance. This was presented to me under the guise of “protecting the anointing” and “keeping the holy separated from the profane.” I know….I am shaking my head.

The thought behind such a crazy idea stems from the worldly wisdom found in the expression, “familiarity breeds contempt”. The reality of the matter, however, is that people do not want people to get too close or familiar with them so their true state of existence will not be revealed. Sad to say, not only is this theory still in practice in existing church leadership forms, it has permeated down into the hearts and minds of parishoners. If believers are truly going to learn to LIVE by Father’s LIFE in Kingdom community there has to be a total abandonment of the carnal idiom of “familiarity breeds contempt{FBC}” in the hearts and minds of God’s People. It’s a nasty stronghold that prevents Father’s Family from experiencing the righteousness, peace and joy of the Kingdom.

Ordinarily, FBC crops up in long-standing relationships, whether marriages, between individuals or in communities. Regrettably, if carnality presides in any relationship, the end of it will be death and not life. In Father’s Household, “knowing” someone or being familiar with them should lead to further intimacy, joy and value of relationship; not the disintegration of the connection.

Think about it for a second. When relationships are initiated, especially romantic conquests, the whole purpose is to become familiar with one another. If intimacy and love are our intentions they can only be derived through a more intimate knowing of one another. The difficulties that “familiar” relationships experience are not derived from pursuing further intimacy, but are caused by a turning away from each other when hurts, offenses and misunderstanding occur. As we begin to make such turns away, we begin to take each other for granted and FBC begins to set it.

As defined by psychiatric types, “contempt” is the emotional reaction to not feeling cared for and perhaps disrespected. Disdain creeps in when we feel like our needs are not being met or we are not being honored. Essentially, FBC originates from a “self-centeredness” which was present in both parties at the origination of the relationship. In other words, we all bring our own needs, desires, expectations to the table when we initiate any relationship. When we feel valued in our relationships, they tend to grow and thrive. When they fail to meet our expectations, we begin to value our relationships and the others involved in them less and they experience decline. Therefore, we must learn and ask Father that our relationships not be based upon carnal, fleshly and worldly foundations but based upon the quality of the born again spirit that we’ve received. This is what Paul was alluding to in 2 Corinthians 5 when he stated, “know no man after the flesh.”  Wuest puts it this way:

For the love which Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive, having brought me to to this conclusion, namely, that One died on behalf of all in order that those who are living no longer are living for themselves but for the One who died on their behalf and instead of them, and was raised. So that, as for us, from this particular time onward, not even one individual do we know as judged upon the basis of human standard. Even though we [Paul in his unsaved state] have known Christ as judged by human standard, yet now no longer do we know Him as such. So that, assuming that anyone is in Christ, he is a creation new in quality. The antiquated, out- of- date things [which do not belong to the new life in Christ Jesus] have passed away. Behold, all things have become new in quality.

Biblical honor produced by the Holy Spirit through the yieldedness of our born again spirit and dispersed throughout community is the cure to the FBC virus in relationships, whether in marriages, natural families or Kingdom communities. We must be on guard in devaluing one another because the pattern becomes cyclical. If we feel dis-honored, we are more likely to denigrate the one from whom the offense came.

Love, (let it be) without hypocrisy. Look with loathing and horror at that which is pernicious. Stick like glue to that which is good. In the sphere of brotherly love have a family affection for one another, vying with one another in showing honor,

Father has taught us to view relationships as pipes! Pipes, regardless of what they transport, (water, gas, etc.) are built to contain PRESSURE. Intimacy in relationships allows genuine communication of feelings rather than simply acting them out and turning away from the relationship (and allowing the pipe to crack). Proper relationships, Godly relationships, Kingdom relationships are built in the spirits of His sons and the flesh is to experience the same fate as it always does in Father’s economy……it must be crucified. The necessary pressure for Father to do His work in us and, ultimately, through us, is facilitated through relationships.

Sadly, over the years, I’ve seen numerous people walk away from assigned relationships that were extreme blessings to them in their walk and development in Christ. The fleshly “familiarity” of walking with brothers/sisters brought them to a place of contempt and rather than spiritually leaning into those that loved them and would walk through any circumstance/situation with them, they bailed, taking their baggage with them. While they were free from the pressure to change and transformed, they remained bound to those internal issues that would only recycle in any future relationships.

Our work and toil is not in manufacturing UNITY but, rather, in safeguarding the unamity of the Spirit which is produced in our being regenerated.  We are to protect and tend to such unity in the bond of peace. Peace is the removal of the cause or source of chaos or disorder. This means, in the context of relationships, we are not to simply walk away from them but, rather, govern and deal with the issues. We are instructed to do so by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in genuine love, humility and honor to one another. No, it isn’t nice and clean work.  It gets messy at times. But, take a look at the Christ’s work on the cross and consider how “tidy” that work happened to be. Dealing with flesh requires crucifixion. There is no alternative method.

There isn’t a more critical issue concerning the formation of God’s People in the earth. The New Commandment that Jesus gave in John 13:34-35 is the true representation he desires of all of his love, grace and mercy afforded to us.

A commandment, a new one, I am giving to you, that you should be constantly loving one another with a divine and self-sacrificial love; even as I have loved you, you also be loving one another. In this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you constantly have love among one another.

Keep your peace!

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4 thoughts on “Vying With One Another In Showing Honor

  1. Amen! Brother! In meeting with the Hispanic elders the other night I found myself trying to protect them from the deception that I walked through and led others into. Only life begets life! Right? It can only be done by the Spirit. One has be hungry for something more than the carnality that the system produces.

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