Cultivating a Culture of Honor (Part 5)

What I am about to say may offend the great guardians of outward religious piety and horrify the cloistered purists who practice an endless list of denominational do’s and don’ts. For most of my life in the faith, I was taught to never, never—n-e-v-e-r—glorify in any form or fashion the frail shells we call humanity. Whatever you do….never lift or build up man. So the tendency then for most believers is to de-value, denigrate, and deny their own value and the value of everyone else around them. Thus, a ghastly seed of dishonor has sprung up and the harvest it has reaped is far reaching and deeply entrenched in all of us, for buried within is this aberrant belief that we are worthless. We are not! There I’ve gone and said it and even put it in print.

            I happen to believe in the biblical principle of depravity. Apart from Christ, we would all exist in that state due to our sinful condition and be eternally separated from God’s presence. I realize, as well, that I can do nothing apart from God and that in reality He needs nothing I can do. You may be thinking…Hum…isn’t that the definition of worthless? No, worthless is “without value.” Again—we are not worthless!

            We have grown to believe that and built a religious system that supports and perpetrates this lie. To achieve worth or value in this pseudo system demands that we (not God) do something to change that. Therefore, our religion demands our labor. Thus, the only value we have is based in what we can do, how well we do it, and how often we do whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing. And that my friend is what most people are wondering around trying to find out—what is it that I am supposed to be doing that will make God happy when in reality I can do nothing that He needs. Seems a little hopeless huh?

            That’s where this issue of honor re-surfaces. Another biblical word for honor is value. God values human beings and has given us worth. All that stuff about us being worthless is just a bunch of bull. Earlier I shared how God honored us in creation by creating us in His image and likeness. He stamped us with Himself and we are the workmanship of His hands—we have value.

Not only do we see it in through our creation, but we also see it through God’s care of us. God does not waste time, effort, or energy. The Psalmist asks in Psalm 8:4: “What is the son of man that You care for him?” God cares…that means He is concerned enough to visit or attend to whatever that need is. Ultimately, the greatest need we have is spiritual and God met it through Jesus Christ.

Value in the marketplace is determined by the price of an object. Supply and demand and the uniqueness of that object all play a part in affixing a price. In God’s economy our value—the market price—is based on His choice to love and He has chosen to love us apart from our inadequacies—our inabilities—our failures—our depravities. God has honored us by loving us unconditionally.

So…honor really is important. If you never realize how God has honored you, you will never adequately honor another person. We’ve only scratched the surface here, and we will look at more in the next few blog entries.

As you contemplate what I’ve said consider for a moment your ultimate value.What are you worth? That answer rests in the price God was willing to pay for you…