Who do you think should receive honor? Perhaps you think of an Olympic champion or the MVP in the Super Bowl. Maybe a person of high rank or office like a 5-star general or the President of the United States comes to mind. Or you may honor a certain rock star or actor. Some of you probably feel that people who display great courage, philanthropy, or contribute something like research or personal sacrifice that benefits humankind should be honored. We acknowledge such people with awards like the Medal of Honor, the Nobel Peace Prize, Olympic gold, a Grammy or an Oscar.
Our dictionaries support this view of honor. Honor is defined as “public esteem”, “showing merited respect,” “one whose worth brings respect,” or “person of superior position.” But did you know that God has an entirely different definition of honor?
Typically, we see honor as something that is earned or merited, usually by only a few exceptional people. But God views honor as something that is freely given. It is a gift that confers value, worth and significance upon the recipient without being either merited or earned. And God wants us to honor everyone.
He has given us the supreme example of honoring everyone. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved (esteemed and valued) everyone in the world, that He sacrificed His only Son, that whoever believes and accepts His sacrifice, shall not be condemned and perish, but will be blessed with fullness of life.” We don’t merit this honor, it is freely offered to us. All we have to do is say yes to God’s gift.
God knows what we often forget, that we are created in His image. We all contain seeds of greatness within us. Giving honor to each other waters these seeds and encourages them to grow. Through our honor, we can actually call forth greatness in someone else! Think about times when you felt someone valued and found worth in you. Didn’t that gift of honor make you feel even more committed to try harder and achieve more?
Perhaps you feel worthless and insignificant. Maybe you feel most people don’t give you a second thought. God has not forgotten you. You are always on His mind! In fact He so identifies with you and your welfare, that He says that anyone who displays kindness and honor “to the least of these,” displays honor to Him! (Matthew 25: 31-40)
“To the least of these” means everyone, and that includes you! Receive God’s free gift of honor for you and see how it stimulates the seeds of greatness He has planted in you. Experience the fullness of life that will bloom within you. And don’t sit on your gift of honor. Give it to everyone who crosses your path!
Come and join us this Sunday at 10:30 AM. We will discuss giving honor to one another in greater depth. My sermon, ”Creating a Culture of Honor” is part 4 in our series “Preparing for the Harvest.”