As we seek to be obedient, the blessings of honoring one another pour out into the body of Christ. It really is the key to proper functioning. (1 Cor. 12:12, 27) Just like our physical bodies work best when all the various parts are functioning properly, the spiritual body of Christ is at its best when each member is doing his part. Honoring one another is a critical part of making this happen.
Honoring is also the key to maintaining unity among the body. (1 Cor. 12:24-25) Kingdom work cannot happen amid strife and division. As a minister at a local church, I must be at peace with my fellow staff members and church members. If the pastor is angry with the worship pastor, who can’t stand the youth pastor, who is upset at the children’s pastor, the church will not function as it should, regardless of how “good” everyone tries to act.
Assimilation is a buzzword in the church growth/health area that suggests when someone joins a church, two things need to happen in the first four months. First, the new member needs to become relationally connected to at least 3-4 people. Second, the new member needs to become involved in a ministry in which she can use her unique gifts, talents and skills. Honoring one another is a key element in becoming involved in ministry.
God has created each of us uniquely, and He has a distinctive mission for us to accomplish. Every person must discover what he was created to do and do it. A teacher must teach, a painter must paint, an organizer must organize. We will not be completely fulfilled until we discover our destiny and live with it.
In spite of our best intentions, any form of selfishness can sabotage our gift of honoring others.
· Territorialism – I like my turf and don’t want anyone else on it.
· Impact on my value and worth – If I honor you, that may diminish the attention and honor I receive.
· Preoccupation with self – I am so focused on me, I am unable to focus on you.
· Jealousy – What if I honor you in an area in which we are both involved and it turns out that you are better at it than I?
· Insecurity – If I honor the strengths of other people, I might expose my own inadequacies.
· Fear of unmet needs – Who will honor me?
Think of some practical ways to honor others, pray to be delivered from selfishness and thank God for His blessings.
Don McMinn, Ph.D. (with Kimberly Spring)
Executive Director of theiPlace.org
The 11th Commandment: More Insights into the One Anothers of Scripture