Integrity. It means doing the right thing. It also carries a promise. Living with Integrity provides Integrity, which is wholeness and stability. This is not a quid pro quo deal. We don’t do the right things to get the right things.
When we do the right things, it is because He has taught us what is right. He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).
In loving one another, we are called to outdo one another in showing honor. To show honor is to recognize the value of a thing…or a person. Honoring your brother is respecting, revering, uplifting him.
I have a sweet friend whose favorite family pastime is the “Out-Polite Game.” They make a fun competition out of serving and speaking kindly to one another. Here the Apostle Paul is urging us to join the game, to out-honor one another. What a beautiful way for a family or a church to operate!
Jesus encouraged us to out-honor one another too:
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘˜Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘˜Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11).
As we see, honoring others is about being humble. Jesus told us how to do it, in the parable. Then He showed us, in His own life:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of aservant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:5-11).
Humility is not like humiliation. Humiliation is a soul-crushing dark place. Humility is contentment with your place, whether it is at the top or at the bottom. If you are content in every circumstance, you have a heart that is able to honor others, to lift them up, to value them. And you have to play the out-honor game even if you are the only one playing…that is Integrity ~ righteousness resulting from right relationship with God, doing right when everything, and everyone else, is going wrong.
What if you are dealing with grouchy people, mean people, manipulative people, petty people, crazy people? Same standard…honor them.
Here is the hope that gave my heart wings:
When we obey, out of love for Him, HE honors us!
HE lifts us up.
This is not a quid pro quo deal. We don’t obey just to get blessings. But God does bless us when we obey; it is just how He operates:
- Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. Phil 4:10
- Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23:12
- For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isa 57:15
- He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate (Luke 1:52).
So this week my kiddos and I are practicing this honor thing. We made a list of ways to honor one another this week. We will concentrate on a new way to recognize the value of others, every day, this week:
- Monday: Be grateful for one another. Just be thankful that this person is in your life!
- Tuesday: Give others the benefit of the doubt. Be innocent as a dove.
- Wednesday: Show patience with one another. Take a cleansing breath and smile (sometimes smiles start on the outside and then work themselves inside).
- Thursday: Serve others gladly. In serving, we imitate Jesus and we honor HIM.
- Friday: Play the Out-Polite Game! Learn how much fun it can be to honor others. 🙂
Hey YOU! Want to join our game and out-honor those in your life? Let me know in the comments if you are in!