“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”- Romans 12:10
One of the greatest demonstrations of appreciation is a simple “Thank You.” As a parent, I am constantly reminding my children to utter these words in response to someone saying or doing something for them. As Monday was Veteran’s Day, a time to honor those who have selflessly and valiantly served our country and defended our freedom, it is good time to remember the value of HONORING OTHERS.
I have come to learn that there is much more to give thanks for than I often remember to do or see right in front of me. In Romans 13:7 Paul calls the believers to, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” As I write on this idea of honoring, two stories come to mind. When I was young my parents were unpredictable and often unable to care for me and my sister. Our aunt and uncle stepped up to care for us. Some of our fondest memories were with them. In my adult years I appreciated their sacrifice even more as I realized that they were just in their mid-twenties and newly married when they cared for us. Every chance I get, I thank my Aunt Kerry and Uncle Gary for what they did.
Another example of honoring a person came from a difficult relationship. In my last few years at my former church, I served under a pastor who was extremely demanding, volatile, and at times narcissistic. Most conversations and meetings with him left me hurt, confused, and discouraged. There came a point years later, as senior pastor at Shepherd’s House, that I began to appreciate his influence on my life in loving and reaching your city for Jesus. I sent him an email to thank him for his passionate model and to celebrate the fruit we were seeing because of it. This was a big step for me, because I had not had any communication since leaving the church. He responded back with an extremely kind and affirming note. Not only did the relationship begin to be mended, but he financially supported our church move to our Townsgate property!
As we move closer to Thanksgiving, I encourage you to give honor to the people who have made a difference in your life. Tell a person who provides you with a service, “Great Job!” and/or leave them a larger than normal tip. Send an email, note or voice message to a family member who helped you through a difficult season. If you have children, thank their teachers and others who influence them (especially those who serve faithfully in our children’s ministry). Wave and smile when you pass by a firefighter, police officer, or member of the military. Let someone know how their lives have impacted you to be a better follower of Jesus.
Let us give thanks to the God who is always good! Psalm 100:4 declares, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Let us give thanks for the many God has used to make our lives better in every way and in each season! Philippians 1:3-4 Paul honors his support system, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
With thanksgiving for you!