“There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” ~ Mother Teresa
Who do you know that deserves honor? The elderly, military veterans, sports heroes, political leaders, rescue workers? The list goes on. We often think in terms of granting honor to those who have earned it or deserve it, but what might it be like if we just “gave” honor to others? Here’s the Apostle Paul’s instruction to his friends in Rome, set in the context of being a “living sacrifice” and “not being conformed to this world”:
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor…” (Romans 12:10 NASB)
Take time to think about how you might apply this simple practice in your current relationships. It’s definitely challenging, but honoring others will certainly elevate your level of influence in those people’s lives. Even though Paul’s command speaks mostly to how we should treat each other in the Body of Christ, I think this should also apply to all of our encounters throughout the day. There are lots of people you come in contact with each day who would be uniquely blessed by you if you simply honored them.
It’s not always easy to love others. Love, however, is the prerequisite for giving preference to others through the act of honoring them. We are able to love others because God first loved us. When we demonstrate love for others through our words and actions, we reflect the very nature of God. This is a practical and living expression of God’s love in action. You will only have influence in people’s lives when they know you care about them.
Giving honor to others requires selfless humility and a servant’s heart. This is one of those “easier said than done” challenges for a Christian leader. Giving honor is a means of recognizing the value God places on that person. After all, He uniquely gifted them and providentially brought them into your circle of influence. Value others by giving them honor in a way that glorifies God.
Let me challenge you to be intentional about “giving honor” today to those in your realm of influence. You know how much it means to you when someone is devoted, loyal, and treats you with respect. You will have people all around you throughout the day that can be impacted simply by how you treat them. No one comes across your path by accident. The challenge for today is to “be devoted and give honor” to those God has placed in your life. Both you and those you honor will be blessed.
Look for opportunities to give honor to others today and you will be amazed at how God will use you.