Giving Preference in Honor

Paul continues to list behaviors and attitudes that reflect the Christian life.  Here is an important one to take to heart in verse 12:  “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another”.  There are two thoughts here for me, one that I never considered before.  First, we are to be “kindly affectionate” with “brotherly love”.  Note the familial connection, the intimacy that is suggested here.  We are exhorted to let kindness and love rule the day in our relationships with others.  Second, note the use of the word “honor” in the second phrase.  How often do we give preference to someone else but with a bit of an attitude?  We know that the other person doesn’t really deserve the preference we are giving but we do it out of obedience, looking down on him or her in a way.  We are willing to put his or her interests ahead of ours, but in our minds we still think our interests are really more important. But here Paul uses the word “honor”. If we give preference in honor we cannot think like that.  Rather, we see the other person as worthy of the preference we give, as having great value. It’s not just the action of preference that’s important but also the attitude of preference.  I know this phrase gave me reason to ponder a bit this morning and I hope it will for you as well.  Are you honoring those you give preference to or is your attitude one of superiority on your part and even a little condescension toward the other one? Let’s pray:  “Holy Spirit, please fill me and allow me to be kindly affectionate toward others and to give preference to another in honor.”


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