Man of Honor
By Benjamin H. Liles
Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. ~ 1 Peter 2:17, New American Standard
I want to talk about something today I feel I have lacked a great deal in my past: honor. With it also comes integrity, honesty, the ability to be constant, reliable. But what does it mean to have honor? The first line of authority comes from God Himself. We read, "So Christ himself gave..." (Ephesians 4:11a). He is the first when it comes to extending honor. Why? Because He gave "some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11b).
I have to respect Peter and the order in which he wrote what he did: "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king." I'm going to put this last part up and i'll go back to talking about honor and what it means: "Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval," writes Paul (Romans 13:1-3, Holman Christian Standard).
In my walk, following Jesus Christ, these days, I can say I honor Him. I put God as first and foremost. When you see my prayers at the end of each and every article, I am asking God for His glory, His stamp on what I believe He allows me to share. Truth be told, I agree with this: "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all" (1 Chronicles 29:11, New American Standard).
And truly all honor goes to God. He framed this world and everything in it. He has the highest honor among men. But do we show it? More telling is whether or not I show it. And I often wonder, "Do I?" I honor those in authority, such as the mayor of my city, the governor of my state, the enforcement officers who keep our streets safe. But I also give honor to my country's senators, those who make the laws, as well as the President who presides over how this country is run. I don't agree with everything these men and women do, but they are giving their best to ensure the safety of all people.
What about my wife? Do I honor her? I want to be unabashedly candid: I have not always honored her. Whoever wrote this book, penned, "Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers" (Hebrews 13:4, Berean Study). In my eight years of marriage I felt a great amount of shame because of how I have acted towards my wife. While she has done her best to honor and uphold and encourage me, I have not always done my best by her. The biggest reason I have not always kept blogging is to get my life right with God, and not just Him, but also with my wife. She isn't just the first woman I have truly loved, but I consider her my actual first love. Now I have to ask this: am I honoring my wife? Yes. Why? She has forgiven me countless times. She has encouraged, supported, and told me writing is my passion. I agree. I want the relationship she has with God. That's what helped change me.
If we truly talk about honor, we also talk about humility and love. These three things, I believe, are the benchmarks, the three prongs which are the main post of the faith: love, honor, humility. The folks who keep gotquestions.org together, write about honor: "All true believers are to honor God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through our acknowledgement and confession that He is the one and only God (Exodus 20:3; John 14:6; Romans 10:9). We are to honor God in our recognition that the gift of life eternal and the very salvation of our souls come through Jesus Christ and Him alone (John 11:25; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Knowing this, we give honor and obeisance to our Savior through our humble adoration and obedience to His will (John 14:23-24; 1 John 2:6)."
Yes, it may seem the title is a little self-serving, but I find I desire I want to be more of a man of honor. I want integrity, love, humility, and my willingness to live for God be my hallmark and guide to walking with Christ. I want the same for you. I do this daily, not for my sole benefit, but to show how God changes the human heart, changing also the pattern of the mind, renewing and transforming it into having His likeness and characteristics. I want Jesus seen and known. I want to see people set free from sin and death, dancing in sweet victory over what the Conqueror has done on our behalf! He nullified sin and death so we might have life and to the fullest. So, why would we entertain living in sin when we are now set apart for righteousness? I hope my words have given you courage and encourage you to boldly step out in your faith.
Father God, Your glory fills the heavens and the earth. My soul quakes before You. My eyes may have never beheld You, but my ears have heard of Your wondrous testimony. Not just in this present age, but from generations before me. I have sat at the feet of several of Your might men: pastors, worship leaders, youth ministers, and wonderful friends who continue to minister to me: both here at home and abroad. Thank You for all You do, have done, and will do. I love learning something new daily from Your hand; which way to go, and which way to show. Your ways are far better than anything I could have ever seen on my own! We know the phrase, "The grass is greener on the other side," well, I'm on that other side and the greens are a true sight to behold. I can lay down in Your fields. I can rest because You are at rest. I praise You for Your glory and Your wisdom. Thank You, dad, for all You have done. I ask that You hear the prayers of Your saints, that You answer their prayers, and that You help all of us to be honorable and to live out honor in our lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.