When is the last time you thought about the concept of honor? Yesterday was Memorial Day, a time when many people do nothing more than have a picnic and maybe fly the flag, but the holiday was intended as an opportunity to show honor to those who served our country, past and present, especially those who lost their lives doing so. Our church service on Sunday included patriotic music, and prayers and statements from the pastors thanking veterans who were present. It felt good to recognize and honor those in our congregation who served our country and protected us from so many threats to our freedom.
So you may have thought about honor this weekend, or maybe you hear it in a hymn or praise song once in a while. But from what I see in my life and in our culture, honor in all its forms seems to be a dying concept. Even at my Christian school, many parents are neglecting to teach their children to honor them, as well as other authority figures like teachers and pastors. The behavior of many today shows that they have not been taught to respect and listen to parents and teachers. Older people are belittled and pushed aside when they are no longer useful to the younger generation. Maybe it’s just part of the “me culture” that defines everything in relationship to how it affects “me.”
Honor is related to respect, but surpasses it, I think. When you honor someone, you give them their proper place. You acknowledge them for something good or worthy they have done. I’m sure honor is sometimes given when it is not deserved, but typically it is given because it is deserved.
I don’t like to get caught up in “shoulds” too much. Christians do that sometimes, but I don’t think they should. Sorry, had to do it. But seriously, I try in this blog not to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do. I’m just trying to share things that may have worked for me, things that may give someone an idea about how they might be able to get a little bit closer to God or take their faith to the next level. I trust God to speak to your heart about what He wants you to do, or not do. Maybe He will use me to speak to you through my experiences, or through someone else. But it’s up to Him.
That being said, I have found that when I show honor to God, it brings me closer to Him. Sometimes the most powerful prayers that I have prayed, the most soul-satisfying songs I have sung, are prayers and songs that tell God who He is to me (and to the whole world) and thank Him for His greatness. This is a wonderful place to start in prayer, and I don’t like to start a prayer anymore without telling God how great He is, first and foremost.
I hope you don’t think, as some people probably do, that giving honor to God is the equivalent of “kissing up” to get someone’s favor, or get what you want. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is as great, probably greater than any honor we can give Him. And as much as possible, I no longer pray in order to get something from God. God’s will for my life is going to give me the greatest outcome, I believe.
I look at honoring God as knowing and telling the truth about God. And the closer I can get to the truth, the more in line with reality I am, the better off I’m going to be in every area of my life. Honoring God is what feels right. Instead of going against the flow of truth, I’m going in the same direction.
What has God done in your life? See if there’s something you can give Him honor for, and how it will change your prayers and your outlook on life to honor and praise Him for all He has done and is doing in you.