Written by Dr. Bill Bagents
“Render therefore to all the due taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7).
On June 4, 2013 Friends of the Overton Memorial Library hosted the eighth annual Honors Evening on the campus of Heritage Christian University. It’s one of my favorite occasions for many reasons. The concept flows directly from Scripture, I like books, and I like positive, happy, understated events.
You know what I mean by “understated.” No one is asked for money. Attendees are free to dress up or come casual. No RSVP is required. And nobody does too much “rah rah.”
I enjoy people’s reactions to Honors Evening. Some call or email asking, “What’s this about? What am I supposed to do? How much will this cost me?” Callers enjoy a sense of relief when they get the facts. My favorite callers are ones who are pleasantly surprised that someone chose to honor them. It doesn’t occur to these humble servants of God that their good works are being noticed and appreciated. We love reminding such people of Matthew 5:16.
Honoring those who are due honor is far too important to be limited to a single organization or to one night each year. There are countless wonderful ways to honor those who help us faithfully walk with God:
• A gift to the Christian Children’s Home.
• A gift to any faithful mission work.
• A note, poem, or article of tribute.
• Heart-felt words of respect and appreciation.
• Telling good people how their example encourages and motivates you.
• Imitation in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:17, and Hebrews 13:7.
We all know that this world works hard at bringing people down. Satan’s lies include:
• You don’t really count.
• Your actions don’t matter in the long run.
• Nobody cares what you do.
• Once you die, they’ll never even remember that you lived.
God counters each of these lies.
• If He cares for the birds of the air, He surely cares for us (Matthew 6:26).
• Our actions affect our eternal destiny (2 Corinthians 4:9-11).
• He knows our actions can powerfully and positively affect others (Genesis 18:19).
• Even death can’t stop the influence of the righteous (Hebrews 11:4 and 12:1-2).
Honoring those to whom honor is due invites God’s blessings. It points our hearts toward heaven. It reminds us of the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and good that should fill our minds (Philippians 4:8). It fights pride and invites God to rule in our hearts. –Bill