“Outdo one another in showing honor.”*
When I was in 2nd grade, I was a Brownie. My friends and I walked to the Methodist church after school on Tuesdays. We put on our beanies and brown sashes and gathered around tables in the musty basement. We proudly stood, raised our three fingers and recited the oath:
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
to help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.
It’s not a word that gets much attention these days.
So how do we honor each other, as commanded in the Bible?
The word honor in the original language is “time” (pronounced tee-may). It means:
- to value the worth of every brother and sister in Christ.
- to show genuine appreciation and admiration for fellow believers.
- to give preference to one another, putting them first.
- to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, without jealousy.
- to extend to another the first opportunity.
- to serve someone else, even at personal expense.
- to value the relationship over being right.
Paul gave the same message to the believers in Philippi:
Put yourself aside,
and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Phil. 2:4 — The Message
Get beyond yourselves
and protecting your own interests;
be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.
Phil. 2:4 — The Voice
That’s why it’s so hard to honor one another. It doesn’t come naturally. It takes great humility and unselfishness. We need the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in us to pull this off. But can you see how amazing it would be if everyone in the faith community honored each other?
“Take the lead in honoring one another.”
Romans 12:10 — CSB
Who will take the lead?
“Practice playing second fiddle.”
Romans 12:10 — The Message
Second fiddle, anyone?
Lord, help me to overflow with respect and genuine appreciation for others in my community of faith. Forgive me for putting my selfish desires ahead of others’ needs. Give me Holy Spirit power to take the lead in honoring my brothers and sisters. Show me how to play second fiddle with joyful abandon. Help us, your children, to honor one another.
On my honor, I will try.
*Part 2 in a series on “The One Anothers”.