Many of us have met the business person whose bank account is full but whose character is bankrupt. He is rich and powerful, but he is dishonorable. We loathe this man or woman.
This is one of the characteristics of politicians that trouble us so. We can’t stand turn-coats. We can’t stand men who make backdoor deals. We disdain the dishonorable representative who says one thing and then does another.
We also know moms and dads who present a Christian “Leave it to Beaver” front, but are totally different behind closed doors. If one could see the truth, the parents would be labeled dishonorable and pity would be expressed towards those unfortunate souls underneath their authority.
Then consider the man who stays out of strip clubs and brothels but engages in private internet pornography. Outwardly he presents himself as virtuous, but inwardly he is full of vice, and he does nothing about his sin. Reputation is more important to him than character. Appearance is more important to him than adoration. No one else may see it, but God sees it, and deems him to be dishonorable.
The same is true with marriage. Many husbands and wives put on a great show, but in private their marital practice and fidelity is dishonorable. Many great looking husbands are tyrants to live with. Some wives are disrespectful and devilish. In public they look like the perfect couple, but get them out of the public eye and their dishonorable selves come out in full fury.
Then there are pastors. At the present time, I am surrounded by many “men of God” who get paid to look pious. We are professionals who make our living sounding godly, walking righteously, exemplifying compassion, and selling-out for Christ. Outwardly, we are pretty good at looking holy. But if you could see our hearts, you would gives us low marks on the “scale of honorability.”
Yes, we want to be wealthy and prosperous. Yes, we want to be powerful and influential. Yes, we want to be externally reputable and praised. Yes, we want to be exemplary and followed. Yes, we want to be visibly successful. Yes, we want to be famous and remembered. However, more than these external benefits, we should want to be honorable. We should want those who know us best to praise our integrity. We should want Him (God) who knows us best, to pronounce us faithful and honorable. (1 Peter 5:5-7)
So, how does one become honorable?
Proverbs 15:33 says, “… before honor is humility.”
Proverbs 18:12 says, “… humility comes before honor.”
Proverbs 29:23 says, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”
Consider Christ. Is not he the most honorable. Was not he the most humble leader ever to walk the earth?
Consider the Holy Spirit. Is not meekness one of his gifts?
Therefore, since humility is a great first-step towards honorability, let us forsake arrogance and pursue meekness. Here are some questions which should guide us in prayer?
- Do I read the Word of God every day because I need God’s wisdom?
- Do I pray without ceasing because I need God’s support?
- Do I obey? Do I value God’s will more than my pleasure, popularity, or prosperity?
- Would my spouse, children, and other subordinates consider me their greatest servant?
- Do I need for people to see my good deeds?
- Am I content with the place God has put me in life?
- Am I thankful for God’s blessings, or do I give myself undue credit?
- Am I more concerned about reputation or character?
- Am I terribly frightened by transparency?
- Am I looking for feet to wash, or looking for more people to bow down and wash my feet?
Friends, ‘Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant ….” (Philippians 2:3-7)