A Culture of Honor, Part 4

In my last three blogs, I’ve been discussing a little man named Zacchaeus, and how Jesus Christ honored his personhood. Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home – potentially for dinner. That home, located at the corner of Sad and Lonely Avenue, would take on a guest who would transform the little man’s life. Jesus invaded Zacchaeus’ space to “Seek and to save the lost” (verse 10). And He will do whatever it takes in your life to bring you to saving faith.

You see, Jesus showed this little man honor. He honored what was important to Zacchaeus. He crossed over the boundary of a hated and abused life and touched him deep inside where brokenness met eternity head on and offered a full and free salvation. Jesus said to him, “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” (verse 10). Zacchaeus accepted this truth by faith and made heaven his eventual home!

Saints, do you understand the power of honor? Of respect? Of loving people out of their sin? Giving them a reason to find something better? Oh, let’s become an honoring community!

Let’s learn how to honor people for WHO they are in the eyes of God, not WHAT they do. Let’s pull on their potential. Let’s find ways to honor their personhood when we can’t agree with their behavior.

How do we honor others? What does this wonderful story teach us about loving others and making them feel significant, regardless of their behavior? We honor one another:

1. When we respect every human being as an image bearer of God. For example, when we address a homeless person along the highway while asking for directions as, “Sir,” we honor him. Consider the following scenarios regarding honor:


When seeing a well-dressed man and addressing him with dignity, we see his eyes light up, we honor him. When we hold the door for those whose hands are full, when we brag on people who otherwise receive little attention, when we spend time with others who experience minimal interaction, and when we apart from flattery make people feel like they matter, we show honor. There are untold numbers of ways we can demonstrate honor toward others in our daily life.

2. When we put other people before ourselves according to the attitude of Christ depicted in Philippians 2:3-9. “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 others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset of 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.”

3. When we recognize and celebrate one another’s unique gifts, personality and calling.

4. When we highly regard one another with our words, especially when we are not with them personally.

5. When we understand the challenges that others face and how the Lord is processing them toward maturity and their unique calling. Thank God there were those around me when I was a young, immature young man with a call of God on my life. They recognized the call and were willing to honor me.

6. When we defer to one another. Jealousy is the opposite of honor because it breeds insecurity and limits our ability to accept a person’s calling, ability and place in the kingdom of God.

7. When we recognize the true value of each person’s uniqueness and speak it to them and to others.

8. When we do all we can through our prayers, acts of kindness and teamwork to aid those around us to accomplish their calling in the kingdom.

9. When we use our gifts to serve others.

10. When we see wives respect their husband despite their shortcomings; and we see husbands love their wives and overlook their weaknesses and commit themselves to their spouses’ success.

11. When we trust a person’s word. Through this we give him honor and respect.

12. When we keep our word to a person. Not keeping our word or even showing up habitually late tells people, “You are not important to me.”


The Bible provides many examples of honorable people:

1. Joseph, when he did not divorce Mary when she was pregnant with Jesus: “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her. But after he had considered this, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:19-20).

2. David, when he spared King Saul’s life: “This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:10).

3. Joseph, when he refused to lie with Potiphar’s wife: “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God” (Genesis 39:9).

4. Job, when he refused to curse God and die: “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity?’ Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. ‘Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said’” (Job 2:9-10).

5. Jesus, who “died on the cross for the joy that was set before Him” of obeying His Father’s will” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Some reading this may boldly say, “Pastor Roger is going soft on sin.” Sadly, some of us have been taught to be watchdogs in the house of God. Watchdogs see their role to police the house, to make sure that holiness is enforced at the expense of making people feel unwanted and insignificant. Let me give you a theological term for such nonsense: HOGWASH! I’m absolutely convinced that when we reinstate honor, respect and individual significance back into culture and the church, we will see a revival of epic proportions. Coupled with prayer, honor will drive individuals to open their heart and discover new life in Christ, not because they were shamed or guilted, but because they discovered what a little man up a tree experienced over 20 centuries ago – unconditional acceptance and love.



Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *