We Don’t Live in a Culture of Honor
Thank you to all members of our military, in all branches, past and present. It's with honor and gratitude that we remember those who have served our country. "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10
We're in the middle of a sermon series called 'Forgotten Virtues.' When was the last time you sat down with a friend and talked about virtues? In case you need a quick refresher, Paul gives us a good list of what virtues are in Philippians 4:8 where he wrote “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
If you have had a recent conversation about virtues, I’m guessing it was more about the lack of virtues in our culture and how bad things are all around us. In the sermon series, the focus is not on how our culture has forgotten about virtues, but how WE have forgotten these virtues. We’re not pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye while we’ve got a plank in our own eye.
We don’t live in a culture of honor. How many of us have made decisions and done things that were less than honorable, pure, loyal, lacked integrity and gratitude? That’s right…ALL of us. And where has that gotten you? I’ll tell you where it’s gotten me—in those times when I’ve blown it—it takes me to a dark place. I get depressed. I feel ashamed. I know I’m not right with God. I know I’m not being the man God has called me to be. And I...don't…like…it!
There is a better way! Starting with living a life of honor. It’s about developing a heart of respect. If you forget the special value of your marriage, if it just becomes common and ordinary to you, you begin to dishonor your spouse. If you forget the incredible value of Jesus, and you make your faith all about tradition and religion and not about Jesus, you are making your faith common and ordinary, and you are dishonoring Jesus.
To honor someone is a choice made by the giver, not the receiver. Honor is a gift you either give or withhold. If you withhold honor, you withhold a blessing. Without honor, the very fabric of core relationships begins to unravel. And the Bible is very specific about those we are to honor:
- We are to honor our parents—Exodus 20:12
- We are to honor those in authority—Romans 13:7
- We are to honor our church leaders—1 Timothy 5:17
- We are to honor one another—Romans 12:10
That last one, Romans 12:10, says, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10, ESV). It doesn’t give any qualifiers like, “Honor those whom you like. Honor those who are like you. Honor those who are on the same side as you politically.” It just says, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” Why? Because we are all created in the image of God.
Here’s the key—we are first and foremost called to honor God—Psalm 22:23. If we don’t do this one thing, we will never be very good at honoring others, because all other forms of honor flow out of this one. You are valuable because Jesus made you valuable. You are a child of the King! We are valuable because we have Jesus’ name on our hearts. If we treated each other as valuable, because Jesus made us valuable, it would radically transform our lives, our marriages, our families, our church! And it begins by honoring the One who died and who rose again to give us life.