honor - n. honesty, fairness, integrity in one's beliefs or actions, a source of credit or distinction, high respect, as for worth, merit, or respect...high public esteem (Dictionary.com)If there is one thing I have learned through observation of people, it is that they will defend their actions no matter how incorrect they are. You have only to watch one of those police programs to see this in action. A drug addict insists the dope found in his pocket "isn't his" and "he doesn't know how it got there". A husband beats his wife and says it was "her fault". Even "Christians" are guilty of this. I once read the comments of one man defending his use of pornography.
On the one hand, God tells us to forgive the unforgiveable and love the unloving, despite their behavior. He, after all, was a friend of many of the "lesser" of society. On the other hand, He also threw out the moneychangers when they defiled God's house. (Matthew 21:12;Mark 11:15) Like Christ, we cannot allow the behaviors of the world to become our standard. If we are to truly be a "peculiar people", then our lifestyle should stand out as vastly different. (Titus 2:15;1 Peter 2:9)
It all comes down to honor. The Bible tells us to be vessels of "sanctification and honour". (1 Thess. 4:4) A vessel holds an amount of something. Sanctification simply means to be pure and set apart for a special use. To live our lives in honor, our fleshly vessels must be set apart from the behaviors of the world. We must live filled with integrity, honesty, and respect.
Think about that. This means our words are pure, we don't swear or curse. We don't tell course jokes. We don't create arguments. It means abstaining from the fleshes lusts and urges. We live sexually pure. We restrain our appetites, whether that is overeating, alcohol consumption, or smoking. We refrain from anything displeasing to our Father. We possess ourselves as temples of Christ. The amount of reverence we give to our physical body should double that given to the church building. (1 Corinthians 3:15-17)
We see this written in 2 Timothy, chapter 2.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer...20 in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (verse 15-17,20-22 NKJV)Notice first, BE DILIGENT. Something we are doing diligently consumes our time. It means watching constantly and not being distracted.
Next, notice the end result, "useful" and "prepared". Wow. If ever you don't want the bad things of life to sneak up on you, these verses tell you how to avoid them. It is through honor and a "pure heart" that we will have the wisdom and understanding we need to tackle all of life's problems.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7 NKJV)It seems to me that honor is the tougher stance. It is so easy to sit down, give up, and fit in. It is easy to defend poor behavior. Walking upstream is the harder task. This is the true "trial of our faith". We are tried in the fires of people's comments and criticisms. But God says afterward we will be found a people of praise, honor, and glory.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.