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I'm going to do my best to keep today's post short and sweet and to the point!
Just wanted to say "Thank you!" to all of you who have been posting comments to my blog, today I opened up 6 comments! It was so fun to hear from all of you! Shout out to Christy, Suzette, and April who really made me smile just now!
So many of you are such an inspiration to me and just knowing you are reading my thoughts, and insights, struggles, fears, advice, is really humbling and encouraging, because we are all on a journey here on earth, and some days are great, and other days are rough, and it is SO nice to know that your Sisters in Christ are praying for you, rooting for you, cheering for you, crying with you, and sometimes laughing with you! (and you can even be laughing with each other through texting...right Suzette? LOL)
Remember, before we begin today's topic of Honoring One Another, that "God compassionately corrects us where Sat*n fiercely condemns us." So as you have been following along this study with me in Chapter 1: Building Right Relationships, or Chapter 2: Loving our Neighbors and if God is tugging at your heart and convicting you of sin in your life, or areas that you need to work on, think of it as a blessing and start asking for the Holy Spirit to help you. Don't get down on yourself or be discouraged, but please work on it. I ask you to work on it, because I'm one of those people who struggled with relationships and would much rather build walls, shut down, or ignore the issue at hand, working on relationships is SO much work, But having great relationships makes it all worth while. If God has taken the time to pursue you and love you and forgive you, how much more should we make an effort to pursue difficult people, love the unlovable and forgive our offenders? Just a thought...
How do we show someone honor? What is honor? A definition of honor is: acclaim, admire, appreciate, compliment, lionize, look up to.
Can you think of a special time in your life that you felt honored?
There have been some really good memories of feeling honored and one that sticks out in my mind the most is when I got the Teacher of the Year Award in 2005. I had finished my Masters Degree (took 3 summers), I was coming into my own as a classroom teacher, I was loving teaching and being a student, studying at Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA, I was growing closer to the Lord, and to finally get recognition after 4 years of really hard work, I was thrilled to pieces. Not only did Mr. Keller, our Superintendent, say some nice things about me, and give me a plaque on the last day of school in front of all the elementary kids, staff, and parents, not only did I got a monetary gift, but I'll never forget my students voices and cheers as I stood up and walked over to receive my award. It was the best feeling in the world. I can remember calling John and Christy on the way home that day. I felt special. I felt important. I felt like God was smiling on me (if that makes sense). I just felt HAPPY!
Describe a time when you honored a friend or a family member.
The most recent thing I can think of is when I arranged for my in-laws to meet me at JCPenny for a photo shoot. My mother in law loves pictures of the kids and she's always trying to get the best picture of the kids with her camera, but somehow it never works out. Either the kids don't cooperate, or the camera doesn't cooperate, or she doesn't have her camera. So for her birthday last summer I decided as her gift we would do a grandma photo shoot, and she LOVED it. It was like the first time I felt she liked the gift we got her! And the kids were great and the pictures came out great, and she felt really special. She still thanks me and reminds me about how much she enjoyed that.
We honor one another to consider other people more important than ourselves. Our example is the Godhead and how the three parts glorify each other. Look at Romans 12: 10:
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Did you know that in the Greek the word honor is translated as "price"? Isn't that interesting that there is a price we pay when we honor someone above ourselves. Look at the great price He paid when He put us above Himself and died on the cross for our sin.
1 Corinthians 6: 20
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Peter 2: 17
17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
In 1 Peter we are told to honor and respect EVERYONE...that means the poor and the rich...the ignorant and the intelligent, the young and the old, the dirty and the clean...the attractive and the unattractive, the kind and the difficult...EVERYONE.
But if we look at the world...who does the world HONOR, who is indeed worthy of honor? The wealthy, the beautiful, the eloquent, the privileged, the famous, the athletic...etc
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[a]5 You have made them[a] a little lower than the angels[b]
and crowned them[c] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[d] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
God created all of us in His image and gives all of us value, worth, and worthiness of honor. Man is made in God's image! That makes us worthy. That makes us special! That makes us unique!
The Bible gives us specific people to honor:
1. Philippians 2:25 brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier
2.1 Timothy 5:3 widows
3.1 Timothy 5:17 elders
4. 1 Timothy 6: 1-2 masters
5. 1 Peter 2: 17 all people, the brotherhood
6. 1 Peter 3: 1, 7 wives, husbands
The Bible shows us specific ways to honor one another:
1. Leviticus 19: 32 rise before the gray headed (honor the presence of an old man)
2. Romans 16:16 greet each other with a holy kiss
3. 1 Cor 11:33 when you come together to eat wait for one another
4. 1 Peter 4:9 be hospitable without grumbling
5. 1 Peter 5:5 Submit yourselves to your elders, be clothed with humility
*In John's taekwondo school you have to bow to your parents and higher ranks and say Yes Sir or Yes Ma'am! I love it! In this day and age we have lost the ability to honor one another.
Then our Bible study went into a whole lesson on how to speak to each other. Instead of going into all the examples I will just explain what the main point of it was...we all bring conversations back to ourselves because we are all selfish. It takes a lot of self control to just sit and listen to someone else, it is much easier to interrupt, add our two cents, etc. So the next time you are on the phone with someone, or see someone at an event try asking the person 3 questions before saying "I" or "we". Trust me, it's hard, I've tried it. This is a skill that requires a lot of practice. We even do this on facebook. If someone posts a picture of their new pet we start talking about our pet. If someone says they are going on vacation we comment, "I've been there!" or "Bring me back a souvenir" We can't help it we are selfish creatures, BUT God has given us a new nature, and we are no longer slaves to our flesh! It's not that we are horrible people but we need to work on showing others honor and respect by genuinely caring and listening to what they have to say.
This week I challenge you to:
1. Listen without interrupting
2. Ask 3 questions before bringing the conversation to yourself
3. Listen for understanding
4. Don't reject someone's feelings
5. Don't give a cliche answer for someone's problems
6. Hold the door open for somebody today
7. Teach your child to respect their elders
8. Wait for a blessing and for everyone to sit at the table before eating
9. To whom do you need to show honor to?
10. What is one thing you could do this week to show "that person" honor this week?