“Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect. . .” (1 Pet 2:17-18)
We value what we honor and honor what we value. The bible says if we honor wisdom,we get knowledge of God,understanding,discernment AND wisdom.(Pr 3:13-20) But if we value only knowledge, we get nothing but pride. (1 Cor 8:1) God calls us to honor all men because He chose to give them life. Jesus lived and died so sinful men could be saved. People are precious to the Father; they are as valuable to Him as His Son. By valuing and esteeming everyone and showing everyone respect,we show that he or she is important to God when we show they are important to us! If God, who is deserving of ALL honor, tells us to honor one another, there is a value HE places on honoring those created in His image, which is disregarded when we don’t. We don’t honor all men,including sinners, because they are sinners, but because God created them and showed us their value by sending His only begotten SON to die in their place! THAT is the HIGH VALUE God places upon man.
The kingdom culture is one of honor and shows a huge regard for the worth and dignity of all men. The rapist, the murderer and those who live in homosexual,immoral or even drug addicted lifestyles all are beings created by God. If now they are living as sinners and have forgotten who they are, God still desires for them to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.He desires restoration of their relationship with Him. To regard what God regards as valuable & honor who God tells us to honor is a form of worship to God.It is showing our love for Him to highly esteem those He deems valuable. Francis Frangipane says, “You can’t lead someone to Christ whom you have dishonored. You cannot sincerely communicate the love of God if you do not respect the person to whom you are speaking.” It is going to be very difficult to change the world if we dishonor it! God loves His creation,however messed up it appears to be now! We are IN,not OF the world,but GOD created ALL that is in the world.
Paul commands that in the Body of Christ, we are to honor each and every member, giving more abundant honor to the “unpresentable parts” . We are called to “honor all men” and “honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). We are required to honor the church elders (1 Timothy 5:17); and in the marketplace we are told to honor and respect our employers (1 Timothy 6:1), widows (1 Timothy 5:3), our spouses (1 Peter 3:7 & Ephesians 5:22) and the unpresentable (1 Corinthians 12:23-25)
In the Old Testament Moses commanded us to honor the aged (Leviticus 19:32). In many cultures, it was common that when a gray-haired person entered a room,all were to stop, stand and acknowledge with respect the older wiser individual that came in.Today in our increasingly globally connected world,there is a greater respect for knowledge than wisdom. This is a wrong priority.
The Bible reveals the Lord bestows honor on people: John 12:26 says, “If anyone serves Me, … the Father will honor him.” And Psalm 91:14-15 says, “Because he has loved Me, … I will rescue him, and honor him.” So if the Lord has no problem honoring people in all His glory, why are we prone to dishonor each other?
The word “honor” we see in the New Testament means to fix a value on something.In the Hebrew it means to abundant respect ,worth and dignity. Is there a value to a home where the children respect,revere and value their parents, the husband honors his wife, and the wife esteems and respects her husband? Of course! So we must see the value of it and esteem this “showing of dignity” as being highly worth it! Honor releases the power of God while dishonor frustrates or cuts it off. Jesus taught that “‘A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.’ And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:57-58). The people of Jesus’ hometown did not honor Him and their lack of honor Jesus called, “unbelief.” In other words, when we dishonor a man or woman of God, we can shut down the power and cut off the presence of God. To dishonor is a almost a form of suicide as we are actually increasing our chances of experiencing tragedy and folly!
Paul reminds us: “Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you…” (Eph 6:2-3).
The blessing and reward of honor is that by respecting what God respects, we ourselves will be remembered when we NEED it. We will have a long fruitful life by honoring our parents. THis doesn’t mean we have to agree with all they do or the way they live,because every generation thinks it is reinventing life for the first time! But it does mean to show respect, regard and value towards them. This requires a fear of God, because He commanded it and humility has as its reward! Pr 22:4 says it is riches honor and a long life! Want that?