Honor Each Other
Ways to show honor: notice people, show that you care about them. To honor is to value and esteem.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you?Aren’t you glad you can be in the world, but not out of it? That’s the background of that little corny greeting, as many of you know. You could be in the world, but you don’t have to be tatted with the world’s brush. God can keep you. “You who are kept…,” Simon Peter says, “you who are kept by the power of God through faith, onto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last day.” God is in the business of keeping you as you go on through this life, keeping you ready to meet Him over there.
We’re looking at 1 Peter 2. We were just talking about verse 16. ‘You’re free, but don’t use that freedom as a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.’ Christian freedom is a reality. “Free from the law, O blessed condition, we sing. All of the mosaic law has been fulfilled in Christ. And now God’s offer of salvation is, is not ‘do this and live’, but ‘believe and live’.” “What shall I do?” the, the Philippian jailer cried out. “What shall I do to be saved?” The answer came back, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved in thy house.”
So it’s commitment to Christ that saves, now, rather then now rather then any attempt to keep God’s law in order to be saved. Incidentally, Paul points out in Romans 8, that although we’re free from the law in terms of having to keep it in order to be saved, what turns out is that when God changes my heart, I keep His will because I’m saved. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,” Paul says, “who walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” God gives me a new heart so that I delight to do His new commands.”
Well, let’s go on into verse 17 of 1 Peters 2. Says he, “Honor all men.” ‘Honor’, that Greek word for honor is the verb timao, which literally means ‘make heavy’, but is translated ‘honor’ in common usage. It’s used a number of times in the New Testament. Oh, let me count them. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19… 20 times it’s in the New Testament, it’s used – mostly in connection with the Lord Jesus.
Yeah, he said “These people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart as far from me.” He said that twice, once in, as recorded in Mathew, and once in Mark. And our Lord Jesus quoted the commandment, ‘Honor thy Father and Mother’. That’s, that’s quoted in the Gospels. Then he said that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. “He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father. If any men serve me, him will my Father honor,” and so on. So that our Savior spoke of Himself in terms of this concept of being honored. Then Paul quoted that, the commandment, ‘Honor thy Father and Mother’ is found in Ephesians 6:2. He said to Timothy, “Honor widows that are widows indeed.” And Peter then comes on and says, “Honor all men.” What do you make of this?
Well first of all this whole matter of, of Honor in the sense that is used here, leads me immediately to face the fact that I must, as I look at another human being, consider him or her worthy of not only of being accepted, but of being valued, see. ‘Timao’ means ‘to make heavy’. What does it mean? ‘Significant’, ‘consider’, ‘worthy of consideration’, ‘worthy of being valued’. Now he says, “Honor all people.” Paul used the word, the ‘men’ here is in italics, and it’s in the generic sense of men and women, all people. Now how do I go about that?
Well, first of all notice other people. You’d be surprised how many people go through life, their eyes averted, their thoughts on themselves, on their own concerns. And they never really notice other folk. Have you observed that? Perhaps you and I have been guilty of it at different times. Well I have a, a, a personal crusade that I’ve carried on for many years when I’m in charge anywhere. I look at people, smile at them, call them by name wherever possible; if I can’t call their name I tell them so and lean it. Look at them, smile at them, call them by name, inquire about how they are, look at what they’re doing – if they are doing something well, I commend them. If you’re going to honor people, you have to notice them.
And second, you have to give some evidence that you care about them. I learnt this from Dr. Clyde Narramore years ago. I took this concept as my own one day as he was speaking in a group where I was in attendance. He said, “It’s the second question that proves whether or not you really care.” And he used this illustration: you’re walking down the hall and, and you see someone, and say, “Hello, Susie, how are you?” And she says, “Oh, not so good.” And you say, “Oh, I’m sorry,” and you go on. Now does that prove that you are sorry and that you cared? No. But if you turn around on your heel and say “Oh I’m sorry, what seems to be the trouble?” Then she can tell you that her mother fell down from the cellar stairs and broke her hip, and she’s in the hospital, and has pneumonia, and she’s afraid that her mom is going to die, and her heart is so heavy, and so on. And you can have a word of prayer with her, or maybe even go and see her mom in the hospital. You prove that you cared about it.
Notice people, and prove that you care about them. And then I think there’s another thing that’s involved in honoring people. And I had to learn this thing the hard way years and years ago. I was working in a certain connection with a person that I figured really needed the limelight, I sensed that. And so whenever there was opportunity, I would mention him in complementary fashion and refer to him in, in advertising and all the rest. And still there seemed to be a little gravel in the situation, so far as he was concerned. I was aware that I wasn’t really getting through to him, or that he wasn’t truly satisfied with the situation.
Have you ever been in a setup like that where you were working with somebody there, and you knew that things just didn’t feel right? (Laughs) Dear. Well you know me, I’m pretty direct. And so one day I sat down with him and I said, “Now tell me, my brother,” I said, “I’ve, I’ve been trying somehow to, to make sure that, that you got proper recognition for what you’re doing, and that people were aware of the immense value that you have to this ministry. And yet it does seem as though things aren’t just right. What seems to be the problem?” And he looked me right in the eye and he said, “Listen, it’s not what you say about me in the meeting that counts, it’s whether or not I have a share in making the plans that count.” (Laughs) Oh boy, do you see the difference? People want a piece of the action.
Now that doesn’t mean that if you’re in a supervisory position that you’re going to just let people dictate what’s to happen. The world isn’t, isn’t set up that way, nor are corporations, nor indeed are most ministries. But they want a share, they want what my good friend Sam Barkat used to call ‘ownership of the idea’. They want a, a share in the idea and in the plan, before it happens. If you just announce a plan and say, “Now this is the plan, and we want you all to, to co-operate in it,” people will drag their feet, won’t they? Because why? They weren’t in on the planning of it, they didn’t have a share in it, it wasn’t theirs, it was somebody else’s.
Well, business has learnt that now. They call it co-operative management – that’s the high-brow term that they’ve put on it. Or participatory management, somebody else’s has called it. Well whatever we want to call it, just remember, if you’re going to honor a person, give him a chance to be heard before the plans get set in concrete. Use the magic phrase, “What is your opinion?” Huh? What is your opinion? Four little words are very important. Use that magic phrase. Ask people what they think before you set things in concrete.
Now that doesn’t mean if you’re working in a position where you have a supervisor, that you’re going to demand to make the decisions. Some management decisions inevitably are going to be made with which you may not agree. And in that case when they’re made, you co-operate. Because the Bible says you and I are to co-operate with our employers, rendering good service, not with ‘I’ service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of God
But by the same token, if you’re going to have a share in what’s going on, always come with, with more than one suggestion. Let me share with you my theory of management. I stole it – well I didn’t steal, it was offered to me by my good friend John Norton, who for many years was with IBM. And he gave me a copy of what Tom Watson sent to his people defining good management. I’ll just summarize it because it was a page long, and I don’t have it here to read to you, nor do we have the time.
He said, “Don’t come with questions, come with answers. Don’t come with one answer, come with alternate answers. Come with alternate answers costed out. ‘How much will it cost to do this?’ And finally, come with one of those alternate answers on which you are willing to risk your job.” And I adopted that many years ago in, in working with the dear ones at the college, and it worked very well. And I’m doing so now in other relationships.
So this matter of honoring people, if you’re in supervision, notice people, prove that you’re interested and that you care by what you do. Give them a chance to be folk of value by listening to their suggestions. Give them a share in planning before things happen, not simply announcing that this is what they have to do, and hoping that they will comply. All right?
Now if we really want to honor a person, I think the bottom line ends up, ‘pray for them daily, and earnestly’. Because if you’re praying daily and earnestly for anybody, it’s going to show up in your attitude, it’s going to show up in your conduct, it’s going to show up in what you say. And they all know it. And they’ll thank you for it. Its good stuff, isn’t it? Well, God bless you. See if we can apply it today, shall we?
Dear heavenly Father, today oh may we be people who honor other folk, for Jesus sake. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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