Monthly archives: November, 2017

LOVE DEMANDS HONOR

 

Honor. It’s a powerful word. Along with the word, we all have an immediate thought that pops in our minds based on our life experiences. It’s a word that gets tossed around often and it carries with it many different meanings.

Growing up, religious or not, a familiar phrase that most of us have heard in a heated moment with at least one of our parents   – “Honor your father and mother”.  Every May or June, watch for the Hallmark commercials. They’ll be encouraging us to honor the graduates. Or when you graduate with Honors…now that’s a big one.  Don’t forget the Fourth of July and Memorial Day when we remember and honor those who have served in the military. This one we all like and have heard at our own wedding or those we’ve attended – that the bride and groom, “love, honor and cherish” each other. And, in the end we all want to honor our loved ones who have gone before us.

The Bible talks a great deal about honor. As Christ followers we’re not only encouraged to honor each other, we are “called” to honor each other; it is a “demand” we see in I Corinthians 13 that is the opposite of being rude. We are to be the kind of person that will put others before ourselves, looking for opportunities to make life easier for those we come in contact with, all in an effort to become more selfless every day. Romans 12:10 NIV says, “Honor one another above yourselves.” The Message version of the same passage reads, “Practice playing second fiddle.” That’s a whole new perspective.

In our society, playing second fiddle comes across as a supporting or minor role…one that you would seemingly tire of. To be less important or weaker in an inferior position. To play second fiddle to your sister. To play second fiddle in a relationship as if you’re the second choice…the back-up plan.

Leonard Berstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, was once asked to name the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation, he replied: “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem; and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony. In truth, if I spent more time second fiddling then my community would probably produce better music anyway.”

Second fiddle. Second chair. No spotlight. Doesn’t seem like you get much glory from that location. And that may be the main point. It seems that most of the time when we get placed in that lumpy, uncomfortable, second chair, we’d much rather be in the first.

But, what if all of us who claim to be Christ-followers decided to be more intentional in this area of honoring others? What if we were content being in the second chair…with enthusiasm and a smile on our face!?  Putting others first above ourselves in everyday life. I bet like the Orchestra, we’d have a lot more harmony and our community would hear the most beautiful music ever.


H U M I L I T Y

 

When Ben Franklin turned 20, he was determined to become virtuous. He put together a list of 12 virtues (frugality, sincerity, justice, etc.), and worked out a system of regularly focusing on one virtue a week while tracking his progress as he went.

He showed his finished list of values to a minister who pointed out that Franklin was missing humility—the queen of all virtues. Franklin added it to the list bringing the total to 13.

After spending many months working on the virtues, Franklin’s friend asked how he was doing with humility. Franklin responded, “I can’t boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it.”

The point is, if you’re working hard at acting humble, you’re not actually humble.

How often are we guilty of the same thing – acting humble? I’d say we probably find ourselves there frequently.  Would you agree we find ourselves bouncing between overly confident and being down on ourselves as well?  There’s this massive tension between pride and confidence. We know pride is a sin. Pride is so destructive it will sneak in and mess things up. “First pride then the crash. The bigger the ego, the bigger the crash.” (Proverbs 16:18 MSG) But the Scripture is full of confidence. James 4:6 says, “He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Pride and humility are both forms of confidence. Pride is confidence in yourself and humility is confidence in God.

But is there any message that you receive or come into contact with on a regular basis from your friends/co-workers/family, what you watch, what you listen to, what you scroll through that screams humility? Anything? Is this a forgotten virtue that is almost gone?

Wouldn’t it just stop us in our tracks if we saw it?

Humility is not for wimps. It is not just for girls. Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Life Church says, “Humility is not a sign of weakness. It is our declaration of our need for God.”

No matter how hard we try, we can’t be all, do all, look all the way that our society is trying to convince us to be. We’re not strong enough on our own…and that’s ok.

 

“Love is not proud…(love is humble)” I Corinthians 13