- Honour all people - see 1 Pet.2:17 (ESV): every person has grace in them as people created by God and in his image. God places value on them (another way of understanding honour) to the highest degree - the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19).
- Honour fathers and mothers, natural and spiritual - see Eph.6:2-3: this speaks of those leaders and others who care for us, watch over us, teach us, shape us and pass on an inheritance to us; this includes elders (1 Tim.5:17) but also other faithful and mature Christians who do or have parented us.
- Honour each other - Rom.12:10: the ESV says 'Outdo one another in showing honour'. What an amazing church it will be when we genuinely seek to prefer and honour others beyond ourselves!!
- Honour the grace-gifting within people - Matt.10:41: this has been the focus of the last few posts and is essential for the functioning of the body (I'll post more on this issue of releasing gifting in future).
- Honour the seemingly least honourable - 1 Cor.12:22-24: it's easy to honour those in obvious 'positions' or with more apparent and public gifting, or more attractive personalities; but the way of God's different kingdom is to give even more honour to seemingly 'the least'. There is no place in God's church for haughtiness, only honour (Rom.12:16). Look out for those who others overlook and specialise in honouring them.
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Who do we honour?
In my last post I suggested that honour (together with humility) is a key principle and attitude for the effective functioning of the spiritual body where people have different gifts and roles, where there is leadership but not hierarchy, and where roles and functions are according to gift not rank, to grace/anointing, not title/position. If you want to know who should be functioning in a certain role, in a hierarchy you just ask the boss! In an organic, spiritual community, you have to operate in honour, to recognise and release the flow of grace for the different giftings and anointings. I am focusing here on honour in relation to the release of grace-gifting, but I'd like to say something about how honour should operate as a general principle by addressing the question, who do we honour? Of course, God always gets the highest honour but he teaches us to honour others - so who? I suggest at least the following: