Avoidance of dishonor is not honor
Often a “do not” is seen as a rule to avoid instead of an active pursuit of the opposite. When looking at the words “do not dishonor” we have two options: choose to avoid dishonoring, which is a passive activity, or choose to embark at learning how to honor others, an active response. But honor is not something we quickly think of in friendship. We think of honoring those in esteemed roles, those with authority or power. But how do we honor those next to us in friendship? What does it look like to honor those around us as an act of love?
In the Bible we find a story of a woman named Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth. (Ruth Chapter 1). It’s a beautiful story of honor as Naomi has lost her husband and both her sons, and yet encourages Ruth to go back to her own people. But Ruth refuses. She honors Naomi by fulfilling her promise to stay with her, no matter the cost. And her cost was high. Given the current culture, without a husband Naomi and Ruth had no protection, no means for provision, no future - but Ruth fulfilled her promise anyway.
Honor can simply mean keeping our word and fulfilling our promise to someone else. Our words have potential to hold so much power, but quickly become meaningless when thrown without weight. In Matthew 5:37 the Bible says “Simply let your yes be yes.” If we give our word to someone, honor them by allowing our word to carry the weight of fulfillment. What an incredible gift to be known as someone who is faithful to do as they promise.
The same concept is true in our relationship to God. We can choose to honor Him by fulfilling the weight of our words in the same way He faithfully honors us with the fulfillment of His Word. How incredible the God of the universe chooses to honor us by fulfilling His promises. An act of worship can be the simplicity of allowing our word to God to be honoring in our fulfillment of them. It may be as simple as spending time in the Bible in the early morning, praying for a friend placed on your heart, or reflecting on a Scripture.
Avoiding dishonor in a passive manner is not the check list item of the 1 Corinthians “Love Is” list. Honoring others by fulfillment of our words to them is an active pursuit of love. Remember this as we choose to “love one another.”
ARTWORK BY: Lauren Garner of Willow & Stone Designs.
To see more of her beautifully creative artwork, check her out on Instagram @willowandstonedesigns .