Honor means value. Honoring puts value upon something or someone, or puts value upon something in someone. Honor does not put value on everything in that person but recognizes what deserves honor in them.
Avoid the exaggerations of honor that demand you ignore reality, limit accountability, and create expectations of surface slush sentimentality instead of real life love. Exaggerations of honor discredit honor as it properly expresses kingdom culture.
Humanistic honor produces false expectations, false equality, and false entitlement. This kind of message has infiltrating our discussions of honor, filtered from published discussions of honor down to relationship levels, producing a false floor for kingdom function.
When Jesus uses the word “honor” to describe the proper response to His representatives, He is asking that people give proper value to what God sends to them. “Receive the one sent and you receive the One who sent them.” Devalue the sent ones, and you never receive what God sends through them.
Dishonor limits the release of anointing available in God’s representatives. Dishonor comes when you devalue their leadership, neglect to value what God sent to you through them, or simply turn or run away from the ones God sends to you in hopes of finding what He wants you to have in another way or place.
Honor does not mean “discovering good things in people.” That is a humanistic honor that allows for honor to occur on the wrong basis. Believers cannot honor in the same way non-believers honor because honor comes from a value system, and believers have a kingdom value system. Kingdom norms do not value everything available in humanity as a basis for honor.
Any system of love and honor that precludes correction, rebuke, accountability, expectations for behavior and relationships misses the value system of the kingdom. Honor responds to what is honorable, and honorable behaviors produce honor to those who have helped produce it. Children bring honor to their parents by their behaviors. This is true of God’s children as well. Honor always speak back to representation. Honor flows up because it honors the source of what produces honor.
“Honor your parents” the first commandment with a promise. The promise is, “You will enjoy long life.” The promise responds to the source, to what parents provide. Parents source life, so honoring them promises long life. Honor responds to what has been received from God, parents, leaders, and other people.
The sincerity of love and honor flow from this valid consider of value, not from a systematic false equality, expectation, or entitlement. Immediately someone demands honor, you can be certain they lack a good premise for receiving it. Schooling people on how to honor you, demanding some form of equality from your leaders after reading exaggerations on the subject and misapplying them to your narcissistic need for approval isn’t honor.
Any system of honor that produces dishonor for God’s kingdom leadership dynamics, diminishes discipline as God’s strategy for maturing leaders, or makes an either-or premise between strong leadership dynamics and love misses the value system of the kingdom, reinterprets Scripture to fit a style of leadership, and creates a new cultural norm contrary to the kingdom of God.
Amazingly, the people demanding honor become the most dishonorable in their behaviors. They behave dishonorably toward the very people Jesus says they should release honor and justify their dishonor by claiming to be honorable! How do they do this? How do people assigned to ministry leadership with whom they forge kingdom covenants, justify the destruction of those covenant agreements, abandon those kingdom assignments, and dishonor those God has placed in their lives who carry what is valuable to their destines? The justification comes from a systematic redefinition of kingdom values that make the words of Jesus ineffectual.
When the Bible says, “Honor,” it means that something of value exists within a person that should be afforded proper evaluation, that dishonoring what God put into that person for your life will limit you receiving what is available in and through them. Demanding that God provide that in another way, a way more suited to your preferences or more convenient to your desires, dishonors God who sent them.
Consider this: honor should be a response of your spirit toward people with a conscious revelation of what God values in them. It cannot be a kingdom response when it is simply you valuing what you value in them. That would be the most selfish response to people imaginable. Honoring what you deem valuable in others is the opposite of kingdom love and honor, yet many believers are buying into this practical application of poorly written treatments on love and honor.
People very often place false expectation upon leaders through this humanistic perversion of honor. A kingdom leader must love as God loves and honor what God honors. People demanding to be loved or honored on a different basis, substituting humanistic sentiments and values for God’s love and honor, find conflict with kingdom leadership dynamics. Celebrating the humanistic, finding a way to blend its value system into the kingdom at the expense of kingdom values, produces chaotic, dysfunctional, undisciplined, immature, and falsely entitled believers.