I have been experimenting with the issue of honor lately. It is very sad to say that people who don’t believe in Jesus probably get the issue of honor more than those who profess to be followers of Jesus.
When Christian culture and behavior is shaped by the gospel of salvation and not the gospel of the Kingdom, which is what Jesus taught and demonstrated, then the focus is getting people into heaven and on our team rather than introducing them to Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and having them carry heaven. Jesus taught in Matthew 4:17 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." In other words, you have to change how you think because I brought my world with me. Salvation is the door in which you have to go through to experience the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. When we change how we think to participate with the reality of “on earth as it is in heaven”, it radically shifts our view of others and our role to demonstrate the love of the Father and His world because His world is at hand, within reach, in inventory, and in stock.
Honor allows us to view those who do not know Jesus, and even each other, from a view of how God uniquely made and gifted everyone and how He sees them. Too many times there is a dividing line those who have prayed the prayer and those who have not or those who have the correct theological position (agree with me) and those that don’t. This by nature puts us in opposition, with the very people we are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus to because our culture teaches us not to value that which we disagree with. We are then left with the position of trying to convince others to agree with our "team" rather than demonstrating the love of the Father.
Romans 2:4 – "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" Paul states that it is the kindness, easiness, goodness, and graciousness of God that leads to repentance. We also need to re-define repentance.
Repentance = a change of mind affecting the whole life, hence, involving reformation. In other words, it is the kindness and easiness of God that leads people to change how they think which changes their whole life. Life flows through, a change of mind affecting the whole life creating transformation and the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Bible is filled with verses regarding honor and who we are called to honor. The list is very long. In I Peter 2:17, Peter sums it up by saying we are to “Honor all men.” This in my opinion is the easiest to remember – Honor everyone.
Honor is not something you earn, but something you give. When we give honor it provides a foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven and creates a partnership with Father God. This demonstration of honor allows us to be focused on the goodness in others and how God sees others, rather than on what is wrong with them and how they are different than us. Honor is the foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven to move and expand. Honor allows us to participate with Heaven and for ourselves and others to be transformed in the process. Try it and practice what Peter taught, "honor all men", and see what happens…..
Blake Schellenberg – Co-Labor Ministries