Her story jolted me back to the “here and now”. I was looking for a card, caught up in another world, when I heard her telling the lady at the till about her friend. Her voice was loud enough for anyone who was present and had ears to hear, to hear. Her friend had been reprimanded by her boss for spending too much time helping an elderly lady in a shop. Apparently, she was slowing down the productivity of the shop.
Productivity had become more important than honour and dignity.
This has concerned me for some time as I have noticed this increasing trend in some schools and with some care work. There are exceptions, I know. But in some cases, exam results and statistics are more important than the honour and dignity of pupils. Caring for others becomes a task defined by a time limit, rather than one defined by honour and dignity.
Peter clearly says,
Show respect for all men [treat them honourably].
1 Peter 2.17a
We have been commanded to treat people honourably. Why? Without honour people are reduced to mere numbers and projects.
Then God said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.
This verse is full of beauty. Almighty God worked in perfect harmony and unity with His Son and the Spirit. Together They created mankind in Their image. It was a work of art bringing glory to the Godhead. It was a work of unity deserving honour. Paul says in Ephesians we are His workmanship. His masterpiece. His work of art. Every single person on planet earth has been created by the same Godhead and in the same image. Every single person carries the image of God within them. Shouldn’t this impact the way we see and treat God’s workmanship?
Paul Manwaring writes:
Honour is both the desire and the ability to recognise glory in others. Whenever I recognise in someone, or something, the attributes, nature, or power of God, I am beginning the journey of honouring. Put another way, honour is when I show value for something because it reveals, reflects, or points to the nature, attributes, or power of God.
Jesus demonstrated the greatest act of honour when He willingly gave up His home and divine privileges with the Father to experience in all humility another home here on earth. He willingly surrendered to the Father’s mission for His life and died a criminal’s death. Jesus was obedient. Restoration was born. (Read Philippians 2.1-11)
The greatest rift between man and God was bridged because Jesus honoured every man, woman, and child who has walked and ever will walk this earth. He valued us above His own life. Why? He could see the eternal value and glory of mankind.
This act of honour established at the cross defines the way we are to treat one another. Paul Manwaring continues:
The journey of honour requires first that we learn to value one another according to the value Christ has given us, and second that we learn to show that value as Christ did, by treating them as more important than ourselves. We are called to become “the servant of all” (Mark 10.44), to take the low position in order to lift up those around us.
Isn’t that what Jesus did?
When we experience the transforming power and love of the cross, then we become ministers of God’s restoring love.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5.20
The Father has placed us here with a mission today. We can restore those who come our way to a position of honour. How? By giving away the love we have already received from the Father. By introducing them to their Creator. The One who knows how they tick because He made them in the first place.
When we honour, we open the door for Heaven’s culture to invade earth.
May you see an invasion of Heaven’s culture as you set out to honour the ones the Father brings your way.