Lead Pastor Andrew Bach leads us through a series titled “Relational Resolves”. The first of the series, presented April 17th, addresses the value of honor in relationship with others.
Backed both scientifically and experientially, the sense of smell is the most prominent of the five senses in triggering memories. However, more important than even our physical smell, which prompts memories, is our spiritual smell. As believers, we must ask ourselves the question: what kind of aroma do we present when we walk into a room? What kind of aroma do we want to present, as ambassadors of the Kingdom?
Before walking into any room, we must decide how we choose to relate to others. It is important that we make a resolve to be a blessing to all those we encounter, before even our first encounter of the day. If we do not choose to be a blessing, we have the tendency to let external factors – the weather, the money in our bank accounts, for example – dictate the attitude we have toward others. A relational resolve is this: the decision to relate with others in a particular way, no matter the circumstance.
Mosaic’s first relational resolve is to honor people. As followers of Jesus, we are not primarily called to self-expression. Rather, we are called to honor others, and to put honor on every other person before ourselves.
1 Peter 2:17 calls us to honor all people: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
The calling is simple, but the activation is not always easy. We are prone, because of sin, to judge others rather than to honor them. We are called to wash away all priority and sense of superiority, and to make the resolve to honor everyone. Importantly, we don’t have to honor everything a person does, but we are called as a people to honor who a person is.
Rarely does the bible command competitive nature, except in the case of Romans 12:10: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” By definition, to honor is to value. To honor someone is to acknowledge their fixed value as a creation of God. He made every person, and therefore every person is valuable at a fixed price. To honor others is to honor God as the Creator. In the act of honoring others, we use prophetic encouragement to call out who a person is – call out their identity and bestow honor upon them – even before we see the fruit of their life.
Honoring isn’t just about acknowledging others, it’s about preferring them. We don’t honor others for us; we honor others for them. “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:2.
Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, so that we may find life and life abundant.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you not only look to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4.
To honor others looks like empowering them. It looks like giving others choices, rather than telling them what to do. It looks like intentionally seeking to maximize others’ potential before our own. It looks like understanding and supporting someone else’s vision. It looks like being on time. It looks like scheduling something and showing up. It looks like greeting people in a welcoming manner. It looks like listening, and assuming the best. It looks like cutting off gossip rather than feeding into it. It looks like finding the gold in others and calling it out, proclaiming it aloud.
We learn how to best honor by looking at the life of Jesus, exemplified in Philippians 2:5-11: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This, too, is imperative to know: just as all others have a fixed value, you have a fixed value, too. When we have a hard time honoring others, it’s often because we ourselves do no feel worthy of honor. But do not forget that you are worthy of Jesus emptying himself of God and coming to earth to die on the cross, so that you may be saved. We honor others because of how Jesus honors us, perfectly and outlandishly.
Interested in hearing Andrew’s sermon? Check out our podcast.