Words of Honor

 

Outdo one another in showing honor—Romans 12:10
To honor someone is to build them up, to give them a sense of their worth. Prevailing culture teaches us our worth is weighed by worldly measures. And so, “honoring” becomes hero worship—elevating those good at projecting worldly success and marginalizing those of us with flawed lives, with failures in our past, or who are simply unable or unwilling to devote enough effort to convincing the world of our success. This type of “honoring” is not what God intends. We lead each other astray when we engage in it, because the focus is so wrong.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

To honor someone as God intends is to build them up and give them a sense of their true worth. It’s trying to see them as God sees them. It’s pushing right through the confusion of worldly measures—successes, failures, talents, faults, wealth, poverty, titles, appearances—looking for evidence of what God has done in and through them, and what he’s doing currently. And, finally, most importantly, it’s telling them what we see. Our edifying, encouraging words to one another are gifts from God. He allows us to give them to one another . . . and we must.
Okay, so what do we do?

Ask God to help you see those around you as he sees them. Look for how he’s working in and through them. And . . . then . . . tell . . . them. Tell them what you see. We men tend to struggle with the telling. We can be married for years, or in community with other men for years, and never simply tell those closest to us what we see in them. So, pick someone this week and tell them what you see. Honor them with a glimpse of his/her true worth.

If these words impacted you today, send them on!

Gotta Get Humble

I got this from a Daily Devotional that I read.

It is called WiRE. Check it out….Not signed up for WiRE? Get started todaytwice-a-week, totally free.

. . . count others more significant
than yourselves—Philippians 2:3

Let’s first get straight on what “getting humble” is not. It’s not trying to think poorly of ourselves or denigrating ourselves or anything like that. It actually involves taking the focus off ourselves. Getting humble is checking our tendency to think ourselves better than others, or more important, valuable, worthy of time or mind share or respect. Getting humble is shutting down our tendency to “size people up” and position them on some scale—based on money, title, education, geography, whatever. Getting humble is recognizing all people as the careful works of God, equally worthy of love and sacrifice.

Getting humble is counterintuitive, and it moves against prevailing culture. You see, we men want to feel successful, important—and have others consider us so. Culture trains us, therefore, to promote ourselves; to be strategic with our time and attention; to let positions determine our treatment of others. This training is foolish. It misses the sense and strength of humbleness.

Imagine someone humble. They’re often fearless, able to act on convictions, rather than trying to impress. Their decision-making is often sound, unclouded by insecurity or prejudice. They listen and welcome honest differences. They abide critics, crushed not by their criticism. They’re often magnetic, treating all people with respect. They engender loyalty, camaraderie. King Solomon wrote, “with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). We want to work with humble people. We want to work for them and have them work for us. We want them as spouses, friends. But, mostly, we should want to get humble ourselves.

Okay, so what do we do?

Practice getting humble. Choose something this week: initiate a conversation and listen more than you talk; serve in a way that’s mundane or difficult (unpleasant, even); help someone anonymously; give someone the credit they deserve (even if you deserve some too).

 

Want Some Courage?

I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus—Philippians 3:14

In some respects, we know the men we’d like to become. For one, we’d like to be courageous for God, not simply surviving these lives, but living boldly in them. Well, we absolutely can (Romans 8:31-39). The thing is . . . it’s hard. We’re easily distracted—by our drives for achievement and advancement and accumulation. And we’re easily made afraid—that we’ll be embarrassed if we act boldly for God; that were not qualified to stand with him; or just that we’ve never done it before and don’t know how to start. Yes, it’s difficult becoming courageous and, actually, it’s meant to be.

God didn’t create two types of men—some cowardly and some courageous. No, he leaves the cowardice/courage decisions to us. That said, we cannot simply choose for courage and instantly become courageous any more than we can instantly become . . . say . . . orators or outdoorsmen. If we want to become either of those, we must practice. We must start small and fail and succeed; we must work and learn. So it is with courage. We become courageous men by practicing courage, by accumulating experiences, small at first, of actually being courageous.

So, there are two types of men, but it’s those willing to practice and those not, resigned instead to lives of safety. The good news, brother, is that becoming the former doesn’t require an inordinate amount of time or a major lifestyle change. It just takes a bit of resolve.

Okay, so what do we do?

Practice. Do something. Don’t overreach (and set yourself up for failure); but don’t reach too short either (and render your efforts pointless). Choose in the middle—something intimidating, but not overly. Here are some suggestions: face a phobia; spend time with someone the rest of the world avoids; serve in a way you’ve never served before.