Honor to Whom Honor
The apostle Paul said, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom.13:7). I’m interested in the language, “honor to whom honor.” What does this mean? Well, we know to honor someone is to value and respect them, to revere the position they occupy or the work of service they offer for the good of others. Here are several questions for our careful consideration regarding giving “honor to whom honor” is due.
Do we honor God?
How many times have we read or heard echoed from the pulpit “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23)? I think sometimes we let these words roll off our tongues and bypass our ears, without sinking down into our hearts. One of the points made in this passage is that when we sin, we fail to honor God. When we willingly choose to rebel against God and His will, there is no honor being given to He who is worthy of all honor. We were created to honor God. Do we give to Him His due?
Do we treat our shepherds with honor?
“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching” (1 Tim.5:17). Elders have a grave charge, they are to shepherd the flock to watch for souls.
Perhaps at times, we fail to appreciate the work of dedicated godly elders. Any job looks easier when we only see the finished product. Often times we are not privy to the extensive hours of planning and praying that elders do in their work of overseeing a local flock. Perhaps besides the Lord, only an elder’s wife knows the challenges and concerns of one who wrestles with the souls of men.
Marital difficulties, job woes, hidden sins and many other such conflicts among brethren are some of the more common issues that have to be dealt with. The bottom line is that elders have an emotionally taxing job to do. It is a work that never seems done. It’s simply not easy to lead sheep toward greener pastures and guard them from the attack of grievous wolves. We need to allow these men to do the task before them of shepherding “with joy and not grief” (Heb.13:17). Thank God for the example, service, and watchful care of godly elders. They are most certainly worthy of our honor.
Do those in our homes receive honor?
There’s just no way we can honor God while acting dishonorably in our homes. Husbands are commanded to give honor to their wives (1 Pet.3:7). Wives are instructed to show respect or give honor to their husbands (Eph.5:33). Children must honor their parents (Eph.6:2). But good homes where honor is the rule don’t arise by accident and don’t develop overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and patience on the part of all. Let us be the people worthy of the respect and honor we so desire. Let us give to others in our homes their due. It will not come easily, but love demands it.
Be A FINISHER
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Phil.3:13-16).
With his eyes fixed firmly on heaven, the apostle Paul pressed forward with aim and purpose. He realized that the Christian life was no playground; it was a battleground. Paul no doubt knew what it took to stay committed to the cause and constant in his walk. How can we learn from him? Let me suggest what Paul had, and what we need if we’re going to finish our course.
Paul had Determination (vs.14). He said, “I press.” We too must exert an intense effort toward the proper goal – heaven.
Paul had Devotion (vs.13). He said, “One thing I do.” The problem with us is we dabble in too many things. We’re involved in trivial matters and become distracted from what really matters.
Paul maintained a proper Direction (vs.13). He said that some things must be forgotten and left behind. What wisdom, as we pursue heaven. We too must not allow ourselves to be negatively influence or affected by something or someone.
Paul had Discipline (vs.16). He said that he would walk by certain rules. It is not enough for us to be determined; we must be determined to obey divine rules (2 Tim.2:5). Only by obedience to the truth will we be fit subjects for the kingdom of heaven.
It’s not enough to start in faith, we must finish in faith. Paul was a finisher – how about you?