With the recent inauguration of our President and the continued non-bipartisan (arm-twisting) politics in Washington, I found it ironic that this week’s character trait is honor.

Honor is respecting others because of the higher authorities they represent … not because I necessarily like or agree with them. (On a related note, respect is a feeling of admiration and deference toward someone or something.)

As Paul told Titus: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3:1-2 NIV) While there are certainly examples of (and times for) civil disobedience when God’s commandments trump those of human authorities, those are the exceptions. When it comes to thinking of and talking about those in authority, I must be careful to obey the law, be peaceable and considerate, and not to slander them.

So, what if I’m struggling to show honor and respect?

First, think more about the position than the person occupying it. The President of the United States of America has enormous historical shoes to fill (think George Washington and Abraham Lincoln) … and will be held accountable by God for his leadership decisions. Same with a Senator. A Congressman. A governor. A mayor. A pastor. A CEO.

Second, that realization leads me to pray for the person. That they will recognize their authority comes from God and consider the weight of responsibility on their shoulders. That they will surround themselves with wise advisers rather than those that will tickle their ears and rubber-stamp their opinions. That they will model integrity and humility. That they will make decisions based on truth and not bribery or their fear of criticism.

Third, consider the personal consequences for not honoring. I am accountable to God for everything I do and every word that comes out of my mouth … and I can’t stand before His throne pointing fingers at how bad someone else was. I am responsible for me. Let God be their judge.

What about you? Do you struggle to honor those you don’t agree with? What helps you to honor them?

Character Matters – Honor
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