“It pleases me when I see you happy to put others first naturally…”
Take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10
While this passage of Romans is described as Love in Action, which is intended for all people, I couldn’t help but see this passage through the lens of the covenant relationship between a man and a woman; the call of a husband and wife to honor each other, but accentuating the call of a man to lead his wife by laying his life down for her.
Honor isn’t something we think about every day, but when a person’s integrity is characterized by honor, it’s unmistakable in his or her lifestyle. Honor is about aspiring to a higher standard… taking the “road less traveled”, as explained by Robert Frost… choosing the best actions because good behavior reveals good character. The beauty of genuine honor lies in its freedom from an unnecessary need to prove itself; it just exists quietly, graciously, contentedly.
When we honor others, we reveal a “you first” approach to life, respecting their uniqueness, pointing out their successes, and acting in their best interest. God is pleased when we treat others well, but even more so when we do it enthusiastically, without being standoffish and grudging with our acknowledgements.
There is no room for jealousy in honoring others or for harboring hopes that we will shine brighter than them. In fact, genuine honor says we’re more pleased for someone else’s success than for our own. Unfortunately, while honoring others sounds wonderful in theory, in reality, it doesn’t come easily as we, as humans, are more prone to being self-ish than self-less.
In order to honor others, we must be secure in our own place in life, which only happens when we rest in God’s acceptance of us. Honor begins at the foot of Jesus’ cross, where He humbled Himself and died in our place. Enduring such a death certainly did not come easily for Him, but He cared for our well-being above His own. So, without fanfare or a need to boost His ego through heroism, He quietly laid down His life for our good.
The security of knowing we are loved that much by our Savior frees us from self-centeredness and sets the example for honoring others.
We are called to delight in putting the well-being of others above our own, and in so doing, we will honor God, as well as them.
Thank you, Jesus, for showing us, by example, about honor. Please continue to remind us of Your love so we can trade our desire to prove ourselves for the desire to live for the good of others. Amen!