In the olden days, honor was so important that a person would fight to the death in a duel if someone dishonored their family. The person dishonored and his opponent would choose a weapon like a sword or a pistol. Duels were fought not so much to kill the opponent as to gain “satisfaction” meaning to restore one’s honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk one’s life for it. Of course today a duel is forbidden by law – but why do you think honor is so important and what does the Bible have to say about it?
What is honor? Honor means high regard or respect.
Is honor a good thing? Yes, depending on whom you are honoring. It’s in the Bible, “Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the King of the ages, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God, and full of wisdom. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17, TLB). God deserves to be exalted and respected.
How do we honor God? Jesus said, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:26, NKJ). Serving God is the best way to show honor to Him. When we follow Jesus, we obey Him. It’s in the Bible, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJ). So loving God, following Him, serving Him and obeying Him is the highest form of honor to God. In return, God honors you back!
Most people give respect or honor depending on what a person looks like. Does God do the same? You’ll find the answer in 1 Samuel 16:7, NIV. “But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Does honor depend on a person’s color or country? No. It’s in the Bible, "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another" (Psalms 75:6, 7, NKJV).
Is it okay to give honor to each other? Absolutely! "Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other"(Romans 12:10, TLB).
Honoring parents is one of God’s commandments. "Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you" (Exodus 20:12, TLB).
Does the Bible list others that we should honor? Yes! “Never speak sharply to an older man, but plead with him respectfully just as though he were your own father. Talk to the younger men as you would to much loved brothers. Treat the older women as mothers, and the girls as your sisters, thinking only pure thoughts about them” (I Timothy 5:1, 2, TLB). The next verse says, “Honor widows who are really widows” (1Timothy 5:3, NKJ). The Bible is saying that everyone regardless of age, or station in life deserves respect.
Honor must be sincere and from the heart. The Bible says, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8, 9, NKJ).