This week, as we continue our One Another series, we have the privilege of learning from Ed Pavelec, one of Riverwood's Elders.
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." (Romans 12:10)
Last week, Minette Ericson looked at the above verse, helping us consider what it meant for us to "be devoted to one another" with familial affection. This week, I want to look at the last half of that verse.
In the second part of Romans 12:10, we see that action is required of us: to "OUT DO" one another in showing honor (or as the New International Version puts it, honor others “ABOVE” ourselves). I like the idea of action. Even the section heading for Romans 12:9 –21 in my Bible is called “Love in Action.” This makes me realize honor is a subsequent action out of the action of love.
But what does the "action" of honor look like? Thankfully, God gives us myriad examples in Scripture. I, myself, ponder a particular commandment when I consider honor: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” (Exodus 20:12) My contemplations of this verse draw my mind to my interactions with my parents and how I treat them. If, then, honor is to be given to my fellow Christian, it will come through my interactions with and treatment of them.
If you treat yourself well (i.e. with honor), at a minimum, you ensure you get at least the basic necessities of life. This means, at a minimum, honoring others is the considerate service of those given needs. For example, I could say that if a glass of water is a basic need, then honoring another could be seen in a timely, kind, provision of water, graciously provided. If it is food, it is not a thoughtless providing of simply sustenance, but a warm presentation of that food, accompanied by a visible attitude of care and forethought, with the person as the particular aim of that action.
Service then, within Christendom to the least of all of us, is witnessed honor. It is action accompanied by a grace-filled attitude. Consider the reverence a family may give an elderly member at some large gathering. That elder would be given a preferred seat at the table and served before others. The room may quiet as the elder rises to give a blessing or provide some memory for the others to share in. All this acknowledgment is not scraping for some favor from that elder, but in recognition of their years of service to the family itself. Their presence alone may be recognized by the littlest ones in the room as a point of their own privilege. It is an Honor to have them there.
Make some time today to read through Romans 12:9-21. As you do so, contemplate how you honor your family, honor your church, honor one another. If you let this term just float through your ears while you read God's Word, if you let it pass without contemplation, you are depriving yourself of being spurred into meaningful action toward others. Truly see the image of God in them. When you do, your honorable action will be "true and proper worship, offering your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God." (Romans 12:1)
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