When I think of the word honor, I can’t help but hum the song “Honor to us All” from Disney’s Classic Mulan. In the movie daughters show honor to their families by being married off. Sounds fun, right? Or I think of esteemed kings and queens or knights on their noble steeds gallivanting into town like celebrities. To me, it’s a bit of an old-fashioned word that I don’t hear get used very often, but it’s a word that God has been placing in my life lately.
Romans 12:10 says that we need to “be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” The word “honor” here means to show high respect or high-esteem to someone or something. The word in Greek literally means price or value. Some versions of this verse say to “out do one another in love.”
It’s human nature for us to think about building up ourselves and striving towards wanting to bring honor upon us. We want to better ourselves, build up our resumes, and have people think highly of us. But what if we were to put as much effort as we do in building up, or even for some people, tearing down, ourselves into building up other people? What if we treated people as if they were worth high value? What if we were to out do one another in love?
It’s a process to take our focus from ourselves and put it onto other people. It takes a ton of humility and patience and can be a daunting task at times. But Jesus’ whole life was just that, to serve and love everyone around him. We have been fully loved by Jesus and this love is not just to keep to ourselves, but we get to freely give love to others.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
(Philippians 2: 3-11)