When I see the words “honour” and “love” in one verse, it immediately grabs my attention.
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. – 1 Peter 2:17 HCSB
I am called to love others who have made the decision to follow Jesus and with them I am called to have a closer relationship. I get what Peter means when he commands me to fear God. Out of the fear of God comes the call to honour those in leadership and everyone else.
Honouring and loving are the keys to unity and harmony in human relationships. In the Godhead, in the church, in marriage, and in any relationship, honour and love are the basis for unity.
Exclude Jesus and I am more motivated by self-interest. Include Jesus and I am motivated by faith, hope and love and it results in self-sacrifice. My honouring and loving enables me to endure suffering because my motivation is not in this world – they are in my heavenly hope and the love that God generates in me.
Honouring in itself is an act of love and I am commanded not to love the world. While I should honour those in leadership without conflict with others, to do so takes wisdom. God promises to give me wisdom as I love to seek it out.
True honouring is not building up anyone with flattery, but in truth that is not only proclaimed but practiced in love. I love this call from Peter as he provides an example of what that sounds like.
Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.[r]Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles,[s] so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. – 1 Peter 2:11-12 HCSB
Father, these days I need wisdom from You more than I ever have felt before. Wisdom in how to honour and wisdom to understand what love looks like. I want individuals to know that I honour You more than anything and part of that means honouring those in leadership even though I struggle so much with how they are leading. Walk with me Lord so that as I begin to look like You more and more each day, may You be glorified. Thank You.