(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
Have you ever taken notice of the natural desire for honor that we have? Whether you have or not, it seems to consume us in more ways than I think we’d all like to admit. However, the desire for honor is something I believe is meant to bring us closer to Jesus (because He made us with it), yet we have confused its purpose, as we have with many other desires, and instead used it for our own glory.
Which is usually how the story goes when Jesus isn’t our only priority in life.
You see, we want to receive honor from our employer, from our followers on Facebook, from the teacher grading our papers at school, from our pastor, from coaches and organizations, from friends and peers, or even from leadership positions in the Church.
Here’s what people don’t want to tell you, though… Your choices have consequences, and you get to choose whose honor you receive.
It matters who is giving you the honor.
I’ve always struggled to understand the meaning behind Acts 13:50-52 which says, “But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district. But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
I used to wonder why Paul and Barnabas “shook the dust off their feet against them”, and you may be wondering what this has to do with honor. Allow me to explain, because I believe that this could be really impactful for the American Church if we got this today.
In Biblical times, pious Jews would often shake the dust from their feet when leaving Gentile cities to make clear their separation from Gentile practices and refusing to honor them. However, here we see that Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from a Jewish town off their feet, which is interesting because they were both prominent Jewish men. But this action spoke volumes because it made clear their separation from the Jews who rejected their Messiah. Their very own people.
Are y’all getting this? Paul and Barnabas didn’t want their honor. They answered to a higher authority (Jesus) and wanted to be honored by their Savior, not the very world and people who despised Him.
Now, let me ask you this question… Whose honor do YOU want? Whose “well done” are you ultimately after?
Some of us have purposely been sitting in the world, conforming to all of its standards, just because we desire their honor. I am so sick of that! Why would we want their honor??
A.W. Tozer once said, “We cannot afford to let down our Christian standards just to hold the interest of people who want to go to hell and still belong to a church.”
That’s where Paul and Barnabas were at. They were not willing to compromise under any circumstance because they knew whose honor really mattered in the end. The devastating thing is that I don’t see very many Christians who have a relationship with Jesus like that now.
Instead of being bold and shaking the dust off, most Christians like to sit on the sidelines and claim that they are being “persecuted”. Listen, most Christians today aren’t being “persecuted” because they love Jesus and have the desire to be honored by Him alone. No, they are actually being held accountable for NOT acting like Him.
We’re running out of time. I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” from my Savior. I answer only to Him. I am after His honor, and I am not willing to compromise under any circumstance.
“Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!…” (Isaiah 52:2)
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= Whose honor have you been after as of late?
= Are you all in to this “Jesus thing”?
= What are you going to do differently?