|Honour ! by Sanjiv Ailawadi|
Made in God’s image, we have been created to be 'crowned with glory and honour'. The pinnacle of His creation! Our mandate was to rule and reign with God, to 'subdue the earth'.
But . . .we lost our authority. Instead of being rulers, we were ruled. Instead of subduing the earth, we were overcome ourselves. Glory was stripped away, honour gave way to dishonour. We were no longer wrapped in light, we needed pitiful material coverings to cover our nakedness.
Then Jesus came and won the battle on the Cross. He disarmed all principality and powers, making them a public spectacle, triumphing over them. He declared 'all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me'. He is that second Adam who obeyed God and did as He desired. He restored our relationship with God. In Him we are given back our crowns: 'eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality. Honour has been restored to those who believe, to rule and reign eternally with Him.
Honour is rooted in the fact that we are made in His image, therefore are worthy. We were created to rule and reign. Because of this, we recognise another’s worth. We acknowledge the other's dignity and value. Only a person who honour's God can truly honour others. He sees in all men and women, people who are valued by God.
Those who honour people long to see them restored. God passionately longed for us to be restored and paid the price, His only Son. Paul spoke of ‘labouring with all his might to see every man complete in Christ’. The apostles laboured night and day, facing hardships, pain and much suffering for the sake of people. The ministry of restoration is given to people who truly honour from their hearts.
Honour therefore releases God’s approval. Honour releases destiny. Honour releases effective ministry. Anyone who has been a blessing to people have loved and honoured them as well.
If we do not honour others from our hearts, they too may not honour us. If we do not honour God, He will not honour us (1 Sam. 2:30). If honour reminds and affirms our intrinsic self worth, then dishonour causes us to lose the sense of being worthy. If there is a personal sense of worthlessness, could it be the result of having dishonoured God and people?
Our world is overflowing with the effects of dishonour. When people are not valued, exploitation, oppression and abuse are the outcome. Poverty is the result of dishonour. Rape, sexual abuse and pornography have their roots in dishonour. Murder and suicide are the outcome of people not having any value for others or themselves. A society that dishonours is insensitive, abusive, hostile and indifferent. A community that honours, loves God, is affirming, encouraging, accepting and healing. We are called to build such communities.
Communities birthed in mutual honour have people who are content, at peace and stable. It goes well for the lives of people in these communities – for they are unselfish, respecting others, kind and compassionate. They move into a partnership with God for He invites such to join with Him to restore.
Honour in the family: Children are commanded to “Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Honour learnt in the family is extended to others – the appreciation of a person’s intrinsic worth because he is made in the image of our living God.
We can only teach our children honour by honouring them first. Role modelling is the best way our children learn. They imitate who we are and what we do. Every seed produces after its own kind. If we honour – they will honour. If we honour them, they will return this honour. Honour reaps honour. Honour is always given, it can never be demanded.
Honour says to a person: you are valuable. God has created you unique – ‘you were fearfully and wonderfully made’! Because of this – you are significant and very important. Who you are and what you can do is very special and matters to God. You are so valuable that He gave up His life on a cross for you.
Think of what this does for a child’s security! It will encourage and strengthen him. Honour is to accept, love, affirm, appreciate and admire our children so that they grow up to believe that they are valuable, precious and important to God and to their parents. Such children will honour their parents for they see how caring their parents have been. Such children will honour God for they have been taught that He is their Father and that fatherhood is good. Such children will also honour others as they see people made in the image of God as valuable and precious. It will go well for them.
We often honour children only for their skills and abilities. They are commended when they do well in examinations or show exemplary gifting. The emphasis is not on character, but on gifts. Our children become driven to be achievers – for they will seek to be affirmed. Unfortunately to seek it in such a manner will only deplete and destroy, and give us a warped understanding of who we are and who God is.
We need to teach our children to seek approval first from God. God gives favour to the humble. He honors those who take stands for Him such as Caleb, Joshua and Daniel. He honours those who pray, give and fast in secret. He honours those who give to the poor like Cornelius. He honours loving compassionate responses.
We live in a hostile, abusive putdown world which seeks to control, manipulate and use others. Jesus came to do us good and set free those oppressed by the devil. He honoured, though He faced shame and dishonour; He modelled compassion, forgiveness and love, in the face of bitterness, rage and hostility. With His help, let’s create an environment of honour in our families, so that it will go well for us and for our children.