Monday, October 13, 2008

Meditate Upon What is Honorable

(As a follow up exercise to a talk I gave at Meadowbrook on October 12, this is Part 2 of 7 meditations.)

Christian meditation is the practice of focusing one’s thoughts upon the person of God, the word of God or the values of God. Honor is a value of God. God prefers honor to dishonor, disrespect or irreverence.

The millions of messages and images that are consumed by the average American every day overwhelmingly fall into the dishonor category. Dishonest politicians, cheating athletes, immoral celebrities, pervasive unfaithfulness in marriages and “Madison Ave.” peddling goods by appealing to greed and lust, literally assault our thoughts and feelings. There has perhaps never been a more important day to meditate and focus upon “whatever is honorable” (Philippians 4:8).

The biblical passages that speak of honor typically do so in one of two ways.
1. We are to give honor, to God and others.
2. We are to live a life that others experience and respond to with honor.

Giving honor is a choice. One chooses to see another in a way that elicits honor. John Maxwell said of the members of a team he once served on, he mentally posted a “10” on their forehead so that he would think of them as a “10”. By calling someone a “10” he meant that the person is of great worth.

Within our American culture the vestiges of bestowing honor are still with us. Judges are referred to as “Your honor.” Those who hold public office bear the title “the honorable so-and-so”. Ministers are called “reverend” which means worthy of reverence or honor.

What faces and names come to your mind when thinking of an honorable person? Think about that person today and what it is that elicits honor from you.

Giving honor is more than words. It is also action. God said, “This people honors Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8) Proverbs 14:31 instructs, “Honor the Lord by treating the poor graciously.” That is not all there is to giving honor but it is reflective that honor involves action from us.

Whom can you honor today?

“Honor your father and mother…” Exodus 20:12
“Honor the Lord from your wealth and the first of your produce” Proverbs 3:9
“Honor the Lord by treating the poor graciously.” Proverbs 14:31
“Honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1
“Honor widows.” 1 Timothy 5:3
“Elders who rule well are worthy of double honor.” 1 Timothy 5:17
“Husbands, honor your wives as fellows heirs of the grace of God.” 1 Peter 3:7
“Honor all people” 1 Peter 2:17


Anonymous said...

I wish that I had meditated on this prior to starting my day. Instead, I look back at the situations in which I was less than honorable and pray that tomorrow I will have a better focus on being mindful of others.

Thank you for the meditation focus.

Anna said...

It is so easy to honor someone you like or someone you feel deserves it. But I have to remind myself God calls us to be Christ-like and think of everyone as a "10" like in your story of John Maxwell.

Goes along with my absolute favorite verse: "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ" Col. 1:28