Honor is not an intellectual concept that should be debated by erudite philosophers or academic prodigies. Honor is meant to be demonstrated. It can only be given. When it is taken, it is always an act of dishonor. Honor was meant to be given away not collected. Offer honor to everyone you meet and God will pay huge dividends on your investment.
There is no greater demonstration of honor than the example seen in the life and ministry of Jesus. If you’re looking for an instruction manual on “how to” honor—look no farther than the gospel accounts of His life. They are filled and running over with illustration after illustration. Jesus honored—recognized their value—every person He encountered.
How did He do it? That’s a very good question. The word “how” denotes Jesus’ capability (what gave him the ability to honor “every” person) and His mode (the techniques or manner He used) by which that honor was granted. Let’s be real here a moment. It’s hard to give honor to someone who has hurt you, lied to you, abandoned you, or used you. If you don’t like someone it’s tough to honor them, and yet Jesus did. There is never a hint of dishonor in His vocabulary, actions, or attitudes. What was His secret? Let me deal with the “how” of His ability—that is what made Him capable of doing this?
The answer is simple—Jesus was filled with the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit—totally submissive to the Spirit’s gentle voice and careful guidance. This is also the reason Jesus was able to do the miracles He did. I was taught Jesus did them because He was God. A pretty biblical answer I thought until I read John 14:12 in which Jesus declares his followers will do the same works He had done and even greater ones. Yes, you heard me. We’re supposed to be doing the things Jesus did—healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. If Jesus did even one of those things as God we have a problem because this verse then ceases to be true.
I believe Jesus is 100% God and 100% man at the same time. But, I also believe Jesus chose not to use (I do not believe He gave them up at anytime—a big difference) His power as God between His birth and His dead. One of the purposes He came for was to fulfill what Adam failed to do—in a real sense Jesus was the second Adam. To do that, He had to live life and do ministry as a fully obedient man—with our limitations. I believe Jesus exercised the power of the Spirit through the gifts of the Spirit under the leadership of the Spirit. That is, everything Jesus did while here on earth He did as a man filled with the Holy Spirit. He willingly limited His God attributes and chose to submit Himself to the same restrictions we all encounter, all the while fully submitted to the Spirit. Therefore, because Jesus did it—we can do it. Ouch!!! We really have no excuse.
Thus one of the “how’s” of honor comes by our flowing in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We have a supernatural capability and no excuse for not giving honor to every person we encounter. If Jesus did it—we must do it!