I might not the only one to have witnessed that during a funeral there good things are said about a person who is already dead. Don’t get me wrong, but I can understand those good things must be said to make the family feel uplifted in times of their grief. However, most speakers exaggerate their appreciation to ease the sorrow of the loved ones. This causes me to question the way things are done- what are those good words if the one being honored is already dead? What effect would those affirmations have had if the person honored could still hear the good words about his/her deeds and can receive the actual appreciation of the people who have warmly thanked him for the job well done? Someone said; “being appreciated (honored) is a “need” to every human individual.”
To HONOR someone means to show them special attention and respect. Reasonably, we would expect that a person who is worthy of such attention and respect has done something to merit honor or special recognition. So we might well ask, Whom should we honor, and why is such honor merited? (Watch Tower- Study Edition March 2017). Next, to God, we have parents to be appreciated. Common sense will tell us that we should also appreciate those who have helped us for years and years, those who have influenced us and taught us to live a good life and many other people who deserve to be followed due to their deeds. When we honor someone, we as Christians are sincere to do it. It is a feeling that is free from deceit, and exaggerated and pretentious compliments (Matthew Henry Commentary). All our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, LOVE. This love must have the characteristic of being “unforced or unconstrained.”
Suitably, the people of God must readily render HONOR to Christian servants. We as Christians collaborate with them as they perform their duties. Our honor and support have reasonable Biblical boundaries for we cannot violate and disobey God. The Bible mention that we are to fear God and honor men where honor is due.
1 Peter 2:13-17 says; “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” If the Bible says we are to honor all men, how much more will we honor a child of God who is our very own brother in Christ’s family?
Matthew Henry in his commentary says; “Be ready to entertain those who do good: as there is occasion, we must welcome strangers. Bless, and curse not. It means thorough good will; not, bless them when at prayer, and curse them at other times; but bless them always, and curse not at all. True Christian love will make us take part in the sorrows and joys of each other. Labour as much as you can to agree in the same spiritual truths, and when you come short of that, yet agree in affection.”
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor (New American Standard Bible)
Romans13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respects; if honor, then honor. (NIV)
Romans 2:10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (NIV)
Someone questions the “scriptural” of honoring Christian Brethren as they claim “only God has the right to honor our deeds.” This statement is debatable as it carries both sides of the coin – true that God will honor our deeds but false that ONLY GOD can and has the right to honor the good works of men. When we see GOOD WORKS done, time, effort and their tenacity to persevere in the work that resulted in good things, why deprive them of good and humble recognition? True, we will be given the greatest recognition in heaven, but the earthly recognition will help encourage individuals to follow, be appreciative of good works witnessed by men. Those who have not seen be able to know the cause of appreciation. This is not against the principles of the Bible but Biblical in the sense that there is “encourage one another” atmosphere, “rejoice with them that rejoice” and setting as an example to all. However, we do not praise them in the sense of praising God for there is only one deserving our Spiritual praise and it is God.
Let us not lose our sense of gratitude and honor. People today have lost their ability to honor good works, Christian brotherhood, and friendships. They have lost their ability to honor relationships. They have lost their ability to honor fathers, and mothers, and grandfathers, and grandmothers. They have lost their ability to honor the leadership in God’s church—or any church, for that matter (speaking of those in the world). (Martin Collins)
Honor is “critically necessary” when it comes to dealing with our physical fathers. Let me go a step farther. Honor is utterly critical when it deals with our Spiritual Father and Savior—that is, God the Father and Jesus Christ, and all the men who labored faithfully for so many years and years to see the Lord’s church continue until this day. The world is full of people whose sense of how to bestow honor is distorted. Truly, we are grateful to know that God allows us to honor those we owe and deserve the honor.