At our church we like to say, “Honor up. Honor down. Honor all around.” It’s a simple way to remember the importance of giving honor to people. The easy thing to do is to honor up. We’re used to honoring pastors, leaders and people up the ladder. Can you honor down though? Can you find ways to give honor to people who you are leading or are not as high on the ladder as you? There are people who are faithful, who anticipate needs and do things behind the scenes that never gets noticed until it’s not done. They need to be appreciated and honored even though they can’t do anything to help you climb the ladder. Honoring someone is hard sometimes because it takes the spotlight off of ourselves and gives it to someone else. If you have a hard time honoring others, it may be a pride issue.
In Philippians 2:25-30, Paul gives honor to a man named Epaphroditus, who he says has been a friend, brother and a fellow soldier in the work of the ministry. Paul had been going through a difficult season and was discouraged. The church at Philippi sent Epiphroditus to encourage him. While he was with Paul, he got sick and nearly died. The people in Philippi heard about it and were worried, so Paul was sending him back to the church there to let them know he was all right. In verse 29 he wrote, “Welcome him home in the Lord with great joy, and appreciate and honor men like him” (AMP). It wasn’t just Epiphroditus that they needed to honor. It’s all people like him who serve God and others.
You can honor people using the Five Love Languages. Some people just need a pat on the back (physical touch). Some need to be told how much you appreciate them (words of affirmation). Some could use a token of your appreciation (gifts). Others need something special done for them (acts of service). While others would appreciate you spending time with them one on one (quality time). However you choose to honor people, it’s important that we as believers give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7). We need to be the models of being selfless and pointing the spotlight on others, especially when it’s something we crave. A simple encouragement from you will fill their tank and keep them going. The only thing you need to do is figure out who to honor and how best to do it.