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I was traveling in Indonesia with our group teaching and encouraging the churches and ministries there.  From the minute I stepped into that compound and was introduced to the people, they went out of their way to honor us. They demanded we sit in the front of every assembly. They demanded we went first in every line. They stood every time we entered the room. Truth is, it made me feel uncomfortable. I wanted to honor them, but they refused to be out-done or out-served. The wise elderly gentleman with me said, “Sometimes, we need to receive as well as we give. Honoring us honors them.”

Honor is a lost art yet holds profound implications in our relationship with God. Something unique happens when we honor others. According to some scripture, when we lift up honor, down comes blessings. Many in our current societies haven’t considered how honor and blessings are connected.

Think about a time you were honored! When someone spoke of your value to the family, how significant you were to the company, or how important you were to the team. Maybe they thanked you for something you did that stood out from others.

How did it make you feel? Did it inspire you? Of course it did. Did it make the sacrifice worthwhile?  Absolutely! Did it give you more confidence? Yes!  Was it uplifting to you on the inside? Without question. That’s what honoring others does.

Through May, we are going to learn what it means to give honor. Honor means to value someone. It means to give respect. Everyone wants it, but we have to get past ourselves to give it. There is an impulse inside most of us to think of ourselves first.  But as we go through the New Testament, God asked his followers to be good at honoring those around us. “Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10.

Being called to honor others actually pulls us back to Jesus. Jesus honored his disciples when He washed their feet. Honoring others looks like Jesus.  Come along with us this May as we unlock the path to this surprising blessing.

Ron Otto, Preaching Minister at Lincoln Christian Church

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