“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17
Honor is a tricky thing to give. We are told to show honor to those in spiritual authority, especially to those who preach and teach.
As humans we tend to fall to extremes. Very few find the healthy balance. We tend to become extreme about something or apathetic about it. Very few find the balance of loving something well, but not taking it to an extreme.
All good things can become liabilities when they are taken to an unhealthy extreme. Honor is no different.
In some church honor is so elevated that it results in artificial harmony. The staff are so afraid to dishonor the pastor or leadership team that no one says anything constructive. On the outside it seems to be a healthy environment, but when you pull back the layers you find all sorts of issues.
If someone cannot express a frustration it leads to all sorts of internal issues. I love the quote by Chris Sonksen,
“A frustration is never content until it’s expressed.” – Chris Sonksen
No matter how great a leader is at some point staff, church members, spouses, friends etc. will get frustrated. If that frustration cannot be expressed it will never go away. This leads to sideways conversations about someone instead of direct conversations to someone.
In other church circles honor is an undiscovered treasure. The pastor and staff are treated like whipping boys.
Somewhere there is a balance. As church leaders we need to find this to have healthy staff, and church member expectations and relationships.
Honor is so important because it impacts how you receive something. Honor is a value. If you don’t honor the stuff God has given you, you will not take care of it. Find someone who has little but shows honor to what they have and you will find someone who receives a lot from what they have.
The level of honor you give is determined by the amount of value you perceive.
So as Christians we are called to give honor. A double portion to those who preach and teach.
If we truly value someone then we do everything in our power to meet the needs and love the person we are in relationship with. To not be able to express a frustration is not honor.
I love the definition of honor by Danny Silk.
“Honor is nothing less than two powerful people working together to meet the needs of each other and the situation.” Danny Silk
Honor is a two way street. It’s not to be demanded and it doesn’t have to be earned.
If you are under someone’s authority you are to show them honor. Not just to their face, but how you talk about them behind their back.
If you are leading others you are to show them honor.
When two people commit to honor miracles happen.
When you get to a point where you cannot show honor to someone you must repent, and reform the relationship. It might mean you have to change the boundaries or terms of the relationship.
It might mean you have to make a change with your job or staff.
As far as you are concerned honor is to be given.
Because you won’t get what God wants you to get if you do not value the relationship of the other person.
You value them so much you respectfully share concerns. You talk to people and not about people.
If you are too afraid to share a concern then you don’t truly honor someone. Honoring is working together.
As pastors show honor and help others understand what it is. It’s not a special parking space, or creating an environment where you are always right.
Honor is submitting to one another for the greater good of God’s kingdom.