38 - Honoring Flawed People

Life Lessons with Dr. Steve Schell

14-12-2023 • 57 minutos

Honoring people who deserve honor is easy. Most of us know people we deeply respect, and showing honor to them flows effortlessly from our hearts. The real challenge comes when we’re asked to honor flawed people, people who don’t live up to our expectations, people who’ve failed to do what they should have done. We ask ourselves, “How can I respect someone who hasn’t earned my respect? How can I love someone who doesn’t love me? How can I admire someone who looks down on me? How can I joyfully give to someone who only takes from me?” Indignation rises up inside us. We rebel at the mere suggestion that we should honor such people. Yet God loves it when we give honor, especially when we honor those who, from our human perspective, no longer deserve it.  In this brief passage we observe a remarkable example of honor. A group of Gentile believers is taking up an offering for their poor brothers and sisters in Judea, yet some of those who were going to receive this gift hadn’t rejoiced at the news that Gentiles were being saved in Antioch. They were troubled by the thought that people who didn’t observe the Law of Moses were being welcomed into the church. The new believers in Antioch may not have been aware that these cultural barriers existed, but Barnabas and Saul certainly were. Yet they said nothing to discourage this generous act of love and happily carried their offering to the elders in Jerusalem. In spite of the presence of some very wrong attitudes, these men and women still deserved to be honored. And on behalf of this growing Gentile church, Barnabas and Saul gladly gave such honor to them. In doing so, they left a profound example for us to follow. Like the church in Antioch, we too are to give honor to whom honor is due (Ro 13:7)…even when it appears they don’t deserve it.

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