Fight for your honor and the honor of others. We honor ourselves when we value ourselves. We honor others when we value them.
I watched one of my favorite TV shows this evening. The girl in the storyline, a senior in high school in the 80’s, finally gets together with a boy that had liked her for ten years! The problem was that they got together while he was dating someone else. Both were acting out of character and were uncomfortable in their hearts with their behavior. One morning, you could see that the way their relationship came about was taking away from their happiness at being together. So they discuss breaking up. He says, “But, we’re supposed to be together!” She replies, “Not this way. We don’t want to start our relationship by hurting someone else.” He asks, “Then, when?” She says, “Not until it feels right.” They were sad to temporarily walk away from each other. They were each important to the other and had been for a long time. But coming together via cheating not only treated the other girl poorly but treated their relationship like cubic zirconia instead of a rare diamond. The background song sent a message of character through these lyrics: “I am the man who will fight for your honor. I’ll be the hero that you’re dreaming of. We’re gonna live forever knowing together, that we did it all for the glory of love” (The Glory of Love, Peter Cetera). This is good advice! Fight for your honor and the honor of others! We honor ourselves when we value ourselves! We honor others when we value them!
Merriam Webster defines honor as chastity, purity, and a keen sense of ethical conduct (integrity). Chastity is defined as purity in conduct and intention. Purity is defined as free from moral fault or guilt and marked by chastity. The word honor in Greek is timao, which translates in English to prize, fix a valuation upon, to revere (Strong’s Concordance).
Do your words and actions protect your honor? Consider the following:
- Someone is upset with you or shares things that bother them about you. Do you spend the whole time desperately defending yourself and trying to control what they think? Or do you release control and put your focus not on defending yourself but on caring about their needs, seeking to understand their plight? All with the goal of reconciliation, if appropriate?
- You did or said something wrong. Are you able to genuinely apologize and move past it? Or do you dwell on what happened?
- Do you know how to pick and choose your battles? Do you know how to bow out gracefully?
- Someone else succeeds. Are you able to see that their success does not mean that you are unsuccessful?
- Someone rejects you. Are you able to realize the difference between rejection and something being wrong with you?
- Do you know how to humbly shine where you shine? And are you content to let others shine where they shine?
Let me suggest that a secure, confident person will choose the way of honor in the listed scenarios because any other decision is beneath them! Not because they are arrogant! But because they are secure in who the Lord made them to be; they trust the Lord to defend them; they rely on God’s grace to help them AND have learned to allow the Lord’s forgiveness to cover their mistakes!
So, how do you become this confident person? Value yourself!
How do you learn to value yourself? Learn how very much the Lord values you and accept what He says about you! After all, He is Lord! Right? When you value and are confident in yourself, you fight for your honor!
Imagine how much less strife and stress you cause yourself and how much better your relationships with others would be if your perceived value of yourself grows and, therefore, you grow in resolve to fight for your honor! Do you ever notice that, when you act in dishonorable ways, it doesn’t let you feel good about yourself? As the couple in this article were devoid of total happiness as a result of their dishonorable choice. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s hard to be confident, isn’t it? When you aren’t confident, you are more likely to act in lower level, dishonorable ways. It’s a vicious cycle. But our Heavenly Father knows the more excellent way…
Regardless of what you have believed, practice living your life this week as if you believe the following:
- [God’s] grace is sufficient… [His] power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace is His ability at work through you so you accomplish and prosper. Ask Him daily for His grace and power to be present in your life and in all your decisions / actions. When situations arise, invite Him in, asking the Lord for grace and power in the midst.
- God sees you as blameless, covered in the Blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:22). When you make a mistake, confess and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Then, move on! Don’t dwell on the sin, as if the blood of Christ is insufficient to wash it away!
- The Lord is your Defender (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 37:5-6; Psalm 91:9-16). Rather than desperately trying to convince people to see who you really are while scrambling to defend and explain yourself, ask the Lord to come to your defense! Also, acting in honorable ways serves as our defense, as well.
- You are the Lord’s child because you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior! Not because of anything you do or don’t do! You are His son (or daughter) – not a slave, beggar or enemy (Psalm 37:25; Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:31)! Make your requests known to God – ask Him! Talk to Him daily about them. Declare His Word over your life and your situations. Thank Him!
- The Lord loves you! It’s the ‘no-matter-what’ kind of love (Psalm 139:17; John 3:16-17; Romans 8:38-39)! He will never leave you; He is always with you (Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20)!
- The Lord has a wonderful plan and destiny for your life! Seek Him for it (Jeremiah 29:11-13; Isaiah 66:9; Numbers 23:19-20)!
If someone asked if you believed these statements were true, I know you would say, “YES!” So would I!
But, I also desire to live my life this week as if these truths were real because they are real! So, let’s bow our knee and submit to them together! Let’s try it this week! Let’s live as if these were true! Just as true as rain outside leads us to put up an umbrella or a hot stovetop burner leads us not to touch it!
The more we practice this, I believe we find out how very much the Lord values us; and we can then value ourselves – living and fighting for our honor!