Is Honor Still Alive?

“This is what the Lord of Armies says: A son honors his father, and a servant honors his master. So if I am a father, where is my honor? If I am a master, where is my respect? – Malachi 1:6a

 “The Father doesn’t judge anyone. He has entrusted judgment entirely to the Son so that everyone will honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. – John 5:22-23

The concept of honor fills the Scriptures. Even if it’s not a way we define our relationship with God, it is certainly one way He evaluates the relationship. It’s an important question: Does my life honor Him? Before I think about His blessings, before I ask Him for anything, before I expect anything of God, do I honor Him? Do you?

Perhaps we don’t have as many earthly examples of honor as we used to. But, if you look closely, they are there. Perhaps the state of our world provides us with teaching examples of what it means to give honor. Here’s an example:

After Samantha Ford stopped at a Dunkin Donuts earlier this year, she returned to her car and found an envelope under her driver’s side windshield wiper. A ticket? A nasty “you’re-a-lousy-parker” note? She opened the crinkled enveloped and two $20 bills spilled out. Then she read the note. “I noticed the sticker on the back of your car. Take your hero out to dinner when he comes home. Thank you both for serving. Him deployed and you waiting.” — United States Veteran / God Bless

The sticker on the back of Samantha’s car was:

Half My Heart is in Afghanistan

Ford went home and posted a photo of the anonymous gift on Facebook, as it was too early to call her fiancé, John DeSimone, serving in the army overseas. Above the photo she said, “There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. Tears in my eyes. I just wish I could thank whoever did this! God bless our troops and all of those who stand behind them.”

We know this is a simple illustration of honor – a powerful gesture in which one person acknowledges the respect and admiration due another. It feels right to us. And it also provides lessons on the nature of honor.

Giving honor is, first, a selfless act. To honor is not to care about getting the credit, or receiving anything in return. Honor illustrates the state of the relationship – that is, the one being honored deserves sacrifice, admiration and respect as a natural expression.

Now, connect these ideas to honor for God.

It is so clearly expressed in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Book of Daniel. When faced with the choice of losing their lives in King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace or denying God, they chose honor.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “We don’t need to answer your last question. If our God, whom we honor, can save us from a blazing furnace and from your power, he will, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, you should know, Your Majesty, we’ll never honor your gods or worship the gold statue that you set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

But if he doesn’t…

But if he doesn’t…

Maybe that’s the key to honoring God – glorifying Him with our lives no matter what happens. Praising Him without tying that praise to one of His promises. I honor you, Father, because You are worthy, without regard to what you can and might do for me.

In the Book of Malachi He asks,  “Where is my honor?” May He never have to ask that question of me.