“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Honor: to regard or treat someone with respect and admiration; to show or give honor to someone; to show admiration for someone or something in a public way; to do what is required by something, such as a promise or a contract (as defined by Merriam Webster).
The word honor is most commonly used in reference to those serving our country. We honor those who have laid down their lives for our freedom. It’s simple and almost natural to honor someone of such high regard. Certain reputations seem to just earn honor from the general population, so to speak.
As followers of Christ devoting ourselves to his will and way, we are called to honor one another. This means anyone that you come in any type of contact with. It may be simple to honor some, but to what extent do we truly honor all others? We are to treat one another with great respect and admiration—consistently. This means honoring someone whose views you completely disagree with. This means respecting the crowds of people in your way at Wal-Mart. How about honoring those driving on the road and easing the gas to let a car in front of us?
Let’s be honest with ourselves: It’s difficult to devote ourselves to honoring and loving the people in our pathway whom we don’t exactly like. It feels nearly impossible to honor someone who drives you crazy. The thing about this word honor is that it isn’t something we can fake. Pretending to love somebody? We probably (and sadly) know how to swing that one. God isn’t okay with faking it though: Love must be sincere. From that sincere true love we have for any person stems the ability to honor. I do not believe we could actually honor someone without first honestly loving him or her. It starts at the heart, recognizing every human’s full value in Christ. Every single person has a plan, hope, and future designed by God’s good hands; there is purpose to each individual life. We need to recognize and embrace this truth. Everyone.
God calls us to an all-embracing love that stretches far beyond the nod or smile from across the room. He is asking us to move past the pretenses, do more than like someone’s post, and legitimately invest in the lives around us. Be devoted to one another in love. Along with that love, begin to admire each individual who crosses your path. Treat them with honor, regardless of how they might treat you. Allow Christ’s blood to override the selfishness of your thoughts. Let go of the concept that individuals have to earn your honor and respect. Do what is right and required by God: Honor one another above yourselves.
(Personal note: This devotional is just as convicting of myself as it may feel to you. Sometimes I feel I can hardly muster the power to like someone in a moment—let alone sincerely love or honor. Consistently though I have come back to Christ and begged him to turn my heart around. I ask for his strength and love. I ask for him to open my eyes. Then I step forward in his love and try as best I can to be as sincere as possible. And it’s a process. Because maybe I have it in me today and I’m able to toss out the lies of the world but let me tell you this is the product of yesterday when I lost focus and surely did not do enough to honor those I came in contact with. Here’s the thing though: God’s love and grace and honor towards us is ever flowing, never ceasing, and continuously available. He washes over our selfishness and pride to bring us back to his heart. As long as we are willing, we will be made clean. Christ’s sincere love, sacrifice, and honor are exactly what makes all this possible in our own hearts.)
Devotional written by Heather Christy. Graphic designed by Daniel Christy.