“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work…”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NASB)
In the book of Genesis we learn that before God created life, He first created an environment where life would be able to flourish. Being created in His image, God the Father endowed us with the unique ability to create our own life sustaining environments.
- Praise creates an environment where the presence of God is welcomed and spiritual life can flourish both in our families and our churches.
- Forgiveness creates an environment where relationships can thrive and reconciliation becomes normal.
- Transparency creates an environment of trust and unity where people feel safe to share the real struggles of their lives with others.
Of all of the elements required to both create and sustain a life giving environment, the one that sticks out more than most is the element of honor.
Honor creates an environment where God manifests both life and favor. In 1 Samuel 2:30 the Lord declares “…I will honor those who honor me…” In Exodus 20:12 we learn that by honoring our mother and father, “…we will enjoy long life…” And in 1 Thessalonians 5, the Apostle Paul teaches us the importance of honoring those in spiritual leadership. By doing so we invite new life and fresh favor into our own lives and ministries. Specifically, The Message Paraphrase Bible says to “…overwhelm them with appreciation and love!”
In short – God honors honor!
So never miss an opportunity to show honor to those that lead you. And for the record, you don’t have to have agreement in order to show honor. Even if those that lead you don’t act honorably, still choose to operate in a spirit of honor because honor must be your standard even if it’s not theirs.
When we honor our leaders who so “diligently labor among us” we are in turn honoring God himself. And in the words of 1 Samuel 2:30, the Lord declares, “…I will honor those who honor me…”
What are some creative ways and benefits that you’ve discovered to making “honor” your own standard of life and leadership? I’d love to hear from the comments below.