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My Life Verse
“Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves.”
As we step into “wedding season” and the time of year
when we “honor” Moms, Dads and Grads, a fair question is this:
just how far have we as a culture drifted from truly being invested
in each other’s lives in a manner that glorifies God
and fulfills His blueprint for our days this side of heaven.
We know we are more “connected” to each other than ever
through things like social media, but there is a growing dangerous disconnect
between the “sweat-equity” loaded idea of “honor one another above yourselves”
(Romans 12:10) and the reality of how the story of our lives
is playing out in our “communities” – or should I say “un-communities”
where Facebook and Instagram seem to be little more than self-promoting platforms
where we are found to be “calling our own number”
instead of giving our lives away.
Perhaps few if any Pastors seem to have a better handle on this issue
than Chris Hodges at Church of the Highlands in Alabama.
I think Chris understands that “scripted” honor days like Mother’s Day
tend to reveal just how far we have slid.
Check out what Chris’ creative team did recently …
Stunning how we don’t even make time to share sentiment, let alone do life –
especially life on a “you-first” level for those who are in our sphere of connectivity
that matter much to God.
Sentiment alone doesn’t pass the Romans 12:10 test –
saying “I love you” may sound good for the moment, but a life lived well
doesn’t need to express verbally what is being loudly underlined
by consistent and generous selfless action.
For Mother’s Day this past weekend,
Chris struck the right note for the season by unpacking three key distinctives
that make up a life of honor . . here they are:
An “honor one-another” life …
Prioritizes what and who is 1st, and it’s not yourself!
Honor gives the best of our time, our devotion, our resources, our affection
to our Dads and Moms, our spouse, our kids, our neighbor etc.
above our own needs and wants. (Proverbs 3:9)
Praises others face to face AND behind their back
A Christlike mindset remembers that God has a claim on ALL His children
and there never is an acceptable time to trash someone else verbally
unless we want to unleash a barren spiritual season in our own lives
and grieve the Holy Spirit to the point that we are dull and insensitive
to His guidance and powerless in our witness (Ephesians 4:29-30)
Protects others when they fail
If you value something or someone, it you protect it.
While we are not called to pretend that sin or carelessness doesn’t happen,
we do all we can to avoid shaming and instead be both a covering and conduit
to better days ahead, especially with other family members
and believers in the family of God (1 Peter 4:8)
If we need a mentor and model when it comes to honor that has substance,
look no further than Christ Himself. One of my other favorite Pastors, Max Lucado,
reminds us that Jesus was content to be known as a carpenter,
happy to be mistaken for the gardener and intent on serving his followers
by washing their feet, a foreshadowing of the day when,
according to Luke 12:37, “the master will dress himself to serve
and tell the servants to sit at the table, and he will serve them”.
Trivial issue to God?
Hardly, for what is at stake is grace for today and glory for our soon to come forever . .
or as Chris Hodges so wisely states,
“The more I value something/someone, the more I value from it.”
(John 7:18; 1 Peter 5:5-6) . .
more than enough reason to think seriously about discontinuing
the practice of “calling our own number” and building a legacy instead
that rests squarely and solely on . . sweat equity living.
“Father, today and all days, my heart’s desire is to reject self-promotion
and instead humble myself under Your mighty hand,
that You may lift me up in due time. Amen” – 1 Peter 5:6
How is God encouraging you today?