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 for them.
How did it make you feel? Did it inspire you to do more of the same? Did it make the sacrifice worthwhile? Did it give you confidence? Was it uplifting to you on the inside? That’s what honoring others does. Honoring others motivates, inspires, builds up, and energizes. Honoring others makes those who feel insignificant, feel significant. Those who feel forgotten, remembered. For those who want to quit, to rise up with new determination.
Honoring one another is no small thing. It’s bigger than we can ever imagine and God can use it in your life and those in your life to bring about a wonderful transformation on the inside. This is why God tells us to honor one another.
This is what I want you to see today. I want you to leave today looking for someone to honor and lift up this week. I want to see God use you to change someone’s life through honoring them.
To help us understand this, let’s start with Romans 12:10 which says, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (NLT). Let me give you some Biblical thoughts regarding honoring each other.
Honoring one another is to value one another
Number one, honoring one another is to value one another. One of the ingredients of honor is value. Learning how to place value on people. This is where you see others as important. Significant in some way.
Jesus was teaching His disciples one day when He asked, “What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31, NLT). You can’t put a price tag on how important people are to God.
The Heavenly Father saw you and many others as so significant to Himself that “he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT). Part of loving people is placing value on them.
If you are going to be like Christ, you must place a high value on the people in your life. You have to see them as important to God and to you. Even the ones who seem useless, a burden to society, and a pain to your side. The first step in honoring people is to see them with value.
Listen carefully, honoring one another is to place value on someone with your words and actions. Jesus did this. He showed honor to Matthew a tax collector (who most people despised), he expressed honor to Nicodemus (even though at first he didn’t understand Jesus), and he even showed honor toward Judas (even though Jesus knew that Judas was about to betray him), and He showed honor toward Pilate as He spoke with him prior to His crucifixion. Jesus expressed honor toward both His friends and His enemies. We should do the same in how we treat them and speak to them.
Honoring one another involves humility
Number two, honoring one another involves humility. One translation puts it this way, “Honor one another above yourself” (NIV 84). This is where you act like a servant toward them. This is where you give them the place of honor, rather than you taking it. This is where you help them succeed and win.
Let me tell you about Brent Tallent. He is a worship leader and piano player extraordinaire. When Brent was a young man, a very well-known singer came to his church, and he had the privilege of serving as her accompanist. He was excited, seeing this as an opportunity to demonstrate his skills at the keyboard. During the rehearsal, he proceeded to run his fingers up and down the keyboard in Liberace style while she sang the first lines of her song.
Following this rehearsal, she stopped, looked at Brent, and said with a smile – “You know, Brent, I really make a wonderful accompanist for you!” The light went on! Suddenly Brent saw what he had done! He was to be the accompanist! He was to support her singing – never overshadowing and calling attention to his own skills. In short, he was to do everything he could to make her look and sound good!
Honoring one another is to be “an accompanist” to one another. We’re all to help each other “look and sound good”! This aspect of honoring each other I believe is caught by The Message paraphrase of the Bible when it says, “Practice playing second fiddle.” Sometimes you have to pass the ball and let someone else take the shot.
Honoring one another involves respect
Number three, honoring one another involves respect. The Today’s English Version says, “Be eager to show respect for one another.” Honor and respect go together. You cannot separate them. It’s the two sides of the same coin. To show respect for someone is to give them your special attention. Respecting someone is to listen to them even if you disagree with them. Respecting someone is to not be rude toward them.
Showing respect may not have anything to do with the person’s character, but their position. You are going to show honor and respect toward this person because they are your parent, your boss, your coach, your pastor, or your president.
1 Peter 2:17 simply says, “Respect everyone.” As followers of Jesus and believers that God created everyone with a purpose and each person is significant in some way we should be the people who are the most honoring and respectful people to be around. Cutting others down, belittling people, and rude sarcasm should never be a part of who we are.
Honoring one another involves enthusiasm
Number two, honoring one another involves enthusiasm. Romans 12 says, “Take delight in honoring each other.” This aspect of taking delight in honoring one another means to be eager about this with the attitude of trying to outdo one another in honoring each other. It sort of carries the idea of a healthy competition between each other when it comes to honoring one another.
Think about this for a moment. What would your life be like if you were driven, motivated, inspired, enjoyed, and enthusiastic about honoring the people in your life?
- What would happen to a marriage if the husband and wife genuinely were trying to outdo each other in honoring one another?
- What would it look like if brothers and sisters enjoyed honoring one another?
- What would it look like if employees were motivated to honor one another?
- What would a church be like if the believers were driven to give honor to one another?
The power of honoring one another has the potential of revolutionizing every relationship in your life. Honor is a game changer. So take delight in it, be eager to show honor to others.
Honoring one another involves grace
Number five, honoring one another involves grace. Romans 12 says, “Take delight in honoring each other.” The “each other” means each other. No exceptions. I’m honoring you. You are honoring me. We are honoring them and they are honoring us. Remember, when we are talking about honoring others we are talking about treating people like they have value and like their life matters.
I said honoring one another involves grace. It involves grace in several ways.
- Honor involves grace because of people. People struggle with sin, they also have weaknesses. But that does not disqualify them from being honored. Their life is still important. They are still valuable. And it takes grace to honor one another, especially the people who make it hard to honor them by their choices and lifestyles and attitudes. Showing honor to others is an act of grace.
- Honor involves grace when it comes to the amount. You cannot show honor to someone enough. We are told to outdo each other in honor. There is no limit to you placing honor on others. God is saying go all out when it comes to honor. Don’t hold back. So go ahead and honor your wife. Go ahead and honor your teacher. God ahead and honor your parents. Go ahead and honor your brother or sister. God wants you to do this.
As we wrap this up, let’s think about two things:
- Who do you need to honor? Is there someone in your life that God is prompting your heart to honor in some way? A spouse, a parent, a boss, or someone else? How does God want you to show honor to them? Speaking with more respect, a gift, a word of appreciation, or an act of kindness?
- Is there anyone you have dishonored by the way you spoke to them in front of others or even privately? Is there someone you have been cold toward, rude, and distant when in reality who should have shown honor to them? By speaking with respect toward them.
Be a person of honor by showing honor.
 The Bible teaches we are to honor each other. However, God’s Word highlights at least four groups that we are to make sure to honor: parents (Matt. 19:19; Eph. 6:2), those in authority (Rom. 13:7) spiritual leaders (1 Thess. 5:12) and your spouse (Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:7).