Honor

October 3, 2017

Yesterday I had a wonderful experience. I was invited to be a part of a motorcycle escort for the funeral procession of an American WW2 veteran. I didn’t know the man; in fact, most of us in the procession did not know him. All we knew was that he had served us and our nation when he was a younger man. 

 

He was worthy of being honored. His family, who had served the nation as he was off at war, was also worthy of our honor.

 

“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

 

The word “honor” in that verse means to “value” another. By implication, it means to somehow exhibit that we value another. 

We rode under the authority of the Patriot Guard Riders. These people make themselves available for honoring others. From their website:

 

“The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% Volunteer, Federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans.”

 

Yesterday, we submitted ourselves to the leaders of the Patriot Guard Riders and honored their authority. We rode in the manner they asked us to ride. We conducted ourselves the way they asked us to behave. 

 

The service was beautiful. I love seeing the American flag. It represents the sacrifices made and being made today to keep our nation free. The respect shown this symbol of what God has allowed us to have was beautiful. 

 

One thing that has been lost in our popular culture today is the concept of “honor”. 

 

It has become cool to rebel against authority, to trample on things that are to be honored, to DISHONOR anything worthy of honor. 

 

“Honor all people (ALL people). Love the brotherhood (Christians). Fear God. Honor the king (those in earthly authority).” (1 Peter 2:17)

 

God, the Holy Spirit, said that through the hands of Peter. It is a command. 

 

All God’s commands are issued, ultimately, for the health of the people. ALL the people.

 

DISHONOR is emerging as the norm in our current culture. If God says to honor (And He DOES), then it must be the enemy of our souls the devil who inspires people to dishonor others.

 

They dishonor other people, Christians (lost people AND sometimes fellow brothers and sisters in Christ do this), God, and those in earthly authority. When I say they dishonor those in earthly authority this can refer to people like parents, those who hold government posts, law enforcement officials, coaches and teachers - people they did not personally pick to be in these posts. It also refers to people like spouses, doctors, counselors, bosses, and ministry leaders under whose authority they have CHOSEN to submit by virtue of voluntarily placing themselves under that authority. 

 

Satan knows that all these opportunities to honor others have built in benefits for the ones that honor other people, Christians, God and those in authority. Twice in the proverbs we can see this very same statement repeated:

 

“…before honor is humility.” (Proverb 15:33b; 18:12b) 

 

Since HE built us, God knows that humility is a beneficial quality for humans to have. 

 

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.” (Proverb 22:4)

 

God knows that humility and fear of the LORD are related and that they lead to people experiencing riches and life and manifesting honor for all others, spiritual brothers and sisters, God and those in authority on the earth. He wants us to experience riches, honor and life because He loves us.

 

Satan also knows that these are good things for people, so he tempts us to mock God and practice DISHONOR as a lifestyle. He does this because he hates our Father in heaven and, therefore, he hates us. 

 

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10a)

 

Yesterday, I and a number of other people were riding to escort a WW2 veteran’s funeral procession. We were invited to do so because his relatives respected him and wanted to honor him in this way. Our agreeing to do so was also honor. We did so because we respected what he had accomplished and to honor him and his surviving relatives. 

 

As we rode with our police motorcycle escort two Patriot Guard Riders were in front, flying American flags. There were more to our rear. 

 

It always touches me to witness what I saw yesterday. All along our 30 mile ride drivers would pull over to the shoulder of the road in honor of the deceased and his mourners AND to honor the flag and what it represents. Yesterday three drivers got out of their vehicles and either held a salute for the whole procession or put their right hands over their hearts. 

 

These were people with honor in their souls and it blessed me. 

 

Several drivers, not many at all, chose to not honor the procession at all. They drove along, more interested in their lives then they were in the lives of those people we were serving. 

 

It reminded me that there will always be people who dishonor others. 

 

However, there will always be those who WILL honor other people…even strangers. 

 

The graveside service was wonderful. There were American flags all around the burial site. The deceased was a Navy man and there were three sailors there in their dress whites to honor him. One played taps to end the service. 

 

Then we parted ways. I went back home and hurried into the office for my counseling and pastoral sessions. 

 

During the last session, I was the one being honored. 

 

I was spending some time with a teenager I care a lot about. While we visited and chatted I could hear his mother going into and out of the restroom just outside my office door. (I hoped she wasn’t being ill.)

 

After they left I happened to notice that she had been in the restroom cleaning it. The toilet and sink had been cleaned and the trash can had been emptied. If I kept the broom somewhere easier to find she probably would have swept the floor too. 

 

Why did she do that? She was honoring me by acknowledging what God does in her life through me. 

 

The thing about honoring others is that it really benefits the one honoring a whole lot more than it does the one being honored. How does it benefit us to honor others? 

 

Again:

 

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.” (Proverb 22:4)

 

The humility of it brings us riches, honor and life. 

 

In reality, it felt nice to know she cared and wanted to do something to bless me – but that should never be our goal. 

 

We’re not here to use the people in our lives. We’re here to submit voluntarily to one another:

 

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:17-21)

 

And we’re not here to always “get ours” first.

 

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in HONOR..” (Romans 12:10 - NASB)

 

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with HUMILITY of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

 

So, yesterday was a wonderful day for me. I got to see honor, practice honor and receive honor. 

 

You know, some bad things also happened yesterday and also some unpleasant and dishonorable things were evident….but the HONORABLE things I experienced far outshone those. 

 

I hope what I have written here is encouraging to you. 

 

It is VERY possible for us to influence a world in which it is newsworthy and popular for sports figures, politicians, anarchists and others to practice dishonor as a lifestyle. 

 

Jesus said it best:

 

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

 

May we all, as Christians, live in such a way that we glorify our Father in heaven.  Let’s purpose in our hearts to live honoring other people, fellow Christians, God and those He has allowed to be in earthly authority. 

 

 

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

© October 3, 2017   

(for use with permission)

 

 

 

 

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