by: Pastor JP Masakayan
There was a time where Israel had no king and everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 17:6). During this time, there was a Levite who took on a concubine, dishonoring God’s design for marriage. When they stopped over the city of Gibeah and wicked men demanded to have sexual relations with him, he sent his concubine to them instead. While the wicked men violated the woman throughout the night, the Levite stayed in the comfort of his host’s house.
The next day, when he got home, he cut up the woman into 12 parts, sent them into all the areas of Israel, and triggered a mob against the Benjamite men of Gibeah. Because the Benjamites won’t give the men up, civil war ensued, as well as further degradation of people’s morals.
All these happened because one Levite failed to honor God and also to honor his concubine. “As goes the home, so goes the nation,” says Warren Wiersbe.
The Bible tells us to honor and respect everyone (1 Peter 2:17). Honor is the attitude or the disposition towards people; respect is the action towards them. So what does it mean to honor and respect others? To honor and to respect people means to treat them as family. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
To honor and respect people also means to be considerate of them: to look at them from God’s perspective and to look at them from their side of the fence. We should always keep in mind that whether lovable or not, God has also created the people around us in His image and likeness, just like us! And also, even the latter part of the Ten Commandments is already filled with guidelines on how we should treat others, their property and their possessions.
To respect and to honor is to defer to others as well. We treat others in deference to who they are. If we can’t respect the person, we ought to respect the position. The Bible goes further, saying, “in humility consider others better than yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3) and to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” (Romans 12:3)
Honoring and respecting others is hard because, ultimately, it’s about dying to the self. It’s giving up our sense of rights, it’s giving up our claim to be first, and it’s giving up our desire to be on top and to have everybody else below us. It’s about living as a sacrifice. It’s a demonstration of Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Biblical honoring and respecting may be such a high calling, and human nature may be too selfish for it, but this is possible when we know Jesus Christ. During those days, Israel did not have an authority above them. They also did not know the Lord. Parents, as God ordained authorities in your children’s life, it is your responsibility to point them to Jesus and to train them in His ways. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Learning how to honor and respect God and others is important. And the reality is that children learn this in the home. That’s why training in the family setting is crucial. Do you want our nation to change? Be a changed agent first, then be an agent of change in your family. “As goes the home, so goes the nation.”
— I am really apologized that I didn’t publish the best of CCF Chronicles because I migrated to Toronto, Canada last November 12. I will publish the 2 best CCF Chronicles here in my blog in December. God bless. — Chester Diaz