If God (Love) seeks not to dishonor others, then He must seek to honor others. What does that mean. If we look at the Greek etymology of “to honor”, we will find it speaks of “reverence”, “veneration” and “precious” value being assigned (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). Interestingly we are also taught (1 Samuel 2: 30 ESV): “For those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” Here, we see that God assigns “precious” value to those who assign Him precious value. For ultimately, is not our “worth” found in Him? For “He is [our] life.” as Colossians 3 (MSG) puts it.
It makes me reflect on my calling in Christ to glorify, esteem, venerate, or assign “precious” value to His Name in all that I do. To receive Christ’s honor, I am thus called to honor Him: to look for His Presence in others and lift this up – to assign Him “precious” value, to show “reverence” to Him and to “venerate” Him in others, just as Christ does. This definitely convicts my heart.
Even this past week, I have found myself leaning to criticize, rather than to lift up. While I know we are called not to “delight in evil”, not delighting in evil, is not the same as cutting someone down for their interpretation or opinion. If I wish to receive God’s honor, then I am to honor His Presence in others. So, when a fellow believer says something I disagree with, rather than spending my attention on criticizing them for this point, my attention should be on esteeming that in them which reveals Christ’s Presence. So, I am to look for the presence of the fruits of the Spirit in their life and honor Christ in them by pointing this out in them. And if I feel led by the Spirit to do so, then I may also point out that which I believe is not of God, but do so clothing myself in His actions of Love, by showing that I do not delight in its presence, but do delight in the truth (Christ) evident within them.
This is convicting food for thought for my heart this week, a heart that is in desperate need of being tilled and softened by Christ. I know I will be entering conversations differently from now on.