It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched a sitcom. We don’t watch much prime-time T.V. The kids stream their shows over Netflix. After they go to bed the hubs and I watch a couple episodes of whatever show we’re binge-watching. Monk. Chuck. Downton Abbey.
Okay, that last one would just be me.
Last week we decided to watch a few episodes of a comedy show we’d heard was good. Meh. For one thing, the writers really should have spent more than five minutes on character development. But the humor also made me remember why I started steering away from these shows. Why is it funny to watch people tearing one another down?
Have we forgotten what it means to honor?
Romans 12:10 calls us to “ Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Some translations render the latter part of this verse as “Outdo one another in showing honor.” The Living Bible reads “Delight in honoring one another.”
As the church, we should delight in honoring one another. We are not to compete for honor but to outdo each other in honoring one another above ourselves.
Why is it so hard?
- Because we believe honor is a limited commodity. Believing there’s not enough honor to go around pushes us to compete for praise instead of generously building others up.
- Because we default to criticism instead of celebration. I get this. I’m a detail person and I like seeing thing done well. But when our normal response is to point out the faults instead of celebrating the successes, it may be that we are failing to honor.
- Because we try to hide our own flaws by pointing out other people’s failings. We fear exposure. Pointing the finger at someone else is a surefire way of getting the attention off the fissures in our own feet of clay.
Honor is rooted in love. The Father loves us. We are loved. Let that sink in for a moment. You are loved. You are bought by the priceless blood of Christ. You are adopted as a child of the king. You are a co-heir with Christ, sharing his victory and inheritance. We don’t have to fight for seats at the Father’s table. Our places are secure with him, and his love has no limits.
Being secure in the Father’s love helps us honor others. We can invite others to find their places at the table without risking our own. We can celebrate their God-appointed destinies because their success doesn’t threaten ours. There’s no need to hide our cracks when we’re all mended by God’s healing love. We can delight in honoring each other because God delights in honoring us.
What does it look like to honor?
- We believe the best of each other.
- We listen–really listen–to one another.
- We create a culture of grace, not shame.
- We desire to help one another succeed.
- We encourage.
- We challenge.
- We hold accountable.
- We make church the one place where no one fails.
- We love.
- We celebrate.
- We thank.
- We forgive.
- We delight in letting each other shine.
- We keep Christ central.
We honor people because we see them as God sees them. Made in his image, precious in his sight, once lost in sin but now cleansed by the blood. Transformed by his grace. Made for his glory. We choose honor because God is doing a work in them that should be valued, celebrated and protected.
This week, let us choose honor. Let’s build up instead of tearing down. Let’s celebrate success instead of failure. Let’s mourn over sin instead of rejoicing at someone else’s fall. And let’s be the first to offer them a hand back up.
Let’s love as God has loved us.