Honor is one of those words that has an elusive meaning in modern society.
The image of men in large hats and swords from centuries past is what keeps circling in my mind. Phrases like “upon my honor” are saddled up with movie scenes akin to The Princess Bride.
An over-theatrical relic.
Is the idea of honor an entombed ideal from the past; like King Author’s round table where “right is might”?
I know honor is a big part of those who serve in the military. However, I am not from a military family, and so it still feels removed in the realm of soldier-like ideals.
To do something or to conduct yourself with honor indicates a higher calling or status. Now, that is something I can put my mind around. Both the Old and New Testament speak of a new covenant position the children of God have obtained.
That is another dusty relic of a word.
The covenant God instituted with Abraham, thousands of years before Christ is the single act that established the world’s three major religions:
Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
New Testament believers find phenomenal hope that Jesus Christ, being both high God and lowly man, perfectly cemented covenant with God for anyone:
In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.
“Everyone being equal” is an automatic, “well yeah of course”, for 21st-Century Westerners. But spend some time studying world history and you will soon discover how radical this idea is. Of course, there has always been and always will be class distinctions, and racism in society.
I keep thinking about how for the first three hundred years after the advent of Christianity it was know in the ancient world as the religion of “women and slaves”.
The convicting image of Matthew 25 where Jesus, describing when He judges His own followers, that He will divide us to the left or right depending on how we treated the least, has found permanent residence in my conscious for the last three years.
Jesus was obscure and mistreated.
The first century church was obscure and mistreated.
Right now millions of Middle Eastern people, many of them Christians, but not all, are homeless, wandered, languishing in over crowded refugee camps, or teeming into Europe with nothing but a faint hope of peace in a foreign land.
The Son of God gave those with no position in society, with no hope of social upward mobility, honor. He honored them with being able to connect and have fellowship with God, in Spirit. When this life we live in the flesh, full of trouble and woe ends, we have eternal hope of seeing God face to face and heaven bliss forever.
My life is so very, very comfortable, perfectly acclimated to suit my earthly needs and wants that this gift Christ gave us seems, rather like my image of men in swords and large hats, a little bit like theatrical rhetoric. Even as I believe it.
So what is a modern, comfortable American to do with this honor?
Feel guilty and start volunteering three days a week?
Start writing checks to non-profits every time we see an image that makes us sad?
For our family, we started to praise God much more for what we had in the material. This opened up the eyes of our heart to see the honor we have in Christ as children of God. This produced one important thing:
Once one becomes aware of how much he or she has been given, the supernatural by-product is a desire to raise someone else up. None of this happens without prayer. The honor of prayer is having access to the very throne of God. We seek it first for our own needs. Seek it regularly, and you will find yourself seeking it for others because you become hyper aware of much you have in Christ already.
Your life will slowly, like a tree that goes from bud to blossom to fruit, start to produce visible fruit that will help sustain mankind in the now, and be rewarded in the future in Heaven.
Then prayer becomes an honor.
31 days of writing challenge.
Daily prompts given by the gang over at Five Minute Friday.