Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"Honor All?"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Honor All?"

     We must never tolerate in ourselves a disrespectful and dismissive attitude toward any human being.  

    "Honor all men" (I Peter 2:17).

    Find the most wicked human being on the planet earth.  The Holy Spirit's mandate through the Apostle Peter stands.  We are to respect all, based on our respect for God and His Word.  Obviously, this does not mean we respect or overlook evil.  Nor do we fail to take opportunities to bear witness to God, grace, truth, sin, judgment, and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only hope for forgiveness and redemption.  It does mean we remember the Apostle Paul referred to the entire human race when he declared to the unbelieving philosophers of Athens, "He giveth to all life and breath and all things… In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:25; 28).  Such remembrance will go far in motivating our proper response of the love that certainly does not honor human wrong, but does honor the human personhood originally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26).

    One way we can afford respect to all involves putting to death the aforementioned attitude of dismissal.  "How can you think that?  How can you believe that?  How can you do that?"  These questions directed toward others actually reveal much darkness in ourselves.  Indeed, how often do we direct such inquiries inwardly?  It is much easier to dismiss others than ourselves.  Sadly, we often see this among believers who differ about matters of Biblical doctrine and practice.  While perhaps not directly stated, the attitude of "how can you be so stupid, blind, carnal, and devilishly deceived?" frequently manifests its fleshly ugliness as Christians consider differing perspectives and positions.  No proper place exists in our attitude toward each other for such arrogance, self importance, disrespect, and forgetfulness of our own need for continual growth and correction.  

    We also forget the subtle cunning of our spiritual enemies when we wonder how others can be the way they are.  Be it devilish or human, the "cunning craftiness" of deceivers can mislead all of us if we are not careful (Ephesians 4:14).  Moreover, when we allow a disrespectful attitude of dismissal to govern our attitude and communication toward others, we pretty much cancel any possibility of communication with people we might be able to help if we exercise forthright, but humble relationship and fellowship.  "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves" (I Timothy 2:24-25).  

   When we remember the Lord Jesus, we will honor all men.  When we remember ourselves, we will honor all men.  When we remember the wiles of the devil, world, and flesh, we will honor all men.  Again, such respect directed toward the God-created humanity of all does not lead us to compromise regarding the spiritual and moral pathologies of a fallen world.  We will speak the Truth no less, and even more.  However, we will speak the Truth in the love of Christ (Ephesians 4:15).  Our Lord's heart of grace and mercy will be manifested in us, thus honoring Him.  In fact, our respect for God can be directly measured by our respect for human beings.  This constitutes hard truth that must not be dismissed as we determine not to bear an attitude of dismissal toward any person, regardless of how far we may think they have fallen.  

"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
(Galatians 6:1)

Weekly Memory Verse
  But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom."
(Hebrews 1:8)


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