Being honorable and respectable is very important to me. I like it when my reputation goes before me and carries weight. I like to be known as reliable. My yes means yes and my no means no.
The Bible has much to say about honor. We are instructed to honor those in authority over us because they are placed there by God (Romans 13:1), but we can frequently find them not deserving of it. Parents make mistakes but must still be honored. Bosses can seem like they do not care about your life but you must still honor them. We may have a major disagreement with state and federal authorities, but still, we are instructed to behave honorably towards them.
Romans 13:7 can be hard to live out sometimes, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
Pastor Craig Groeschel has encouraging advice for those who struggle to give honor, “If you’re a married woman, but you don’t particularly like your husband – maybe he’s not the leader that you want him to be – honor him. If you treat him as ordinary and common, he won’t feel empowered to lead your family. But if you honor him, give him the opportunity to rise to the occasion, to become honorable. Treat him like he’s the man you want him to be; with grace and honor, help him envision himself as a better man.”
Pastor Groeschel also applies this approach to church leaders and I believe it can be applied in most cases. If you are unhappy with those in authority over you, rather than tear them down and out of that position, build them up and encourage them to be the kind of leader you want them to be. Honoring those in authority is good practice in humility.
Romans 12:10 adds, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“Maybe you’d like to be the boss someday.
Before you can learn to be over,
you have to learn to be under.
Practice being under
by showing honor to those people
whom God has put over you.”