I knew a man very well who went to work for a major ministry. He quickly worked his way into a position of leadership. Whenever he was in the presence of the president of the ministry, he was the picture of honor.
From serving the man water, juice, etc., to buckling him in his car, to displaying the most incredible outward show of honor and respect once could imagine. But when he was not in the presence of the mentor, he would second-guess his boss and make ever increasing disparaging remarks.
This man had a hidden agenda. He was operating under the deception that he would one day take this man’s ministry, which, sadly, he eventually attempted to do through a five-year series of frivolous and totally unsuccessful lawsuits against his mentor.
Today this man is completely out of the ministry while the mentor is thriving, and reaching the world for Christ. Honor is much more than an outward display or lip service.
We serve a God who puts a high premium on the character trait of honor. Yet we live in a day where there is an apparent dearth of honor both inside and outside the church. Simply defined, honor is high respect toward someone or something.
How can we expect the blessing of God as we serve another person’s ministry without a heartfelt, abiding, sincere honor and respect for our mentor?
Honor is referred to directly or indirectly more than 400 times in Scripture as a command in both our horizontal (with our spouse, employer, children, those in authority, etc.) and in our vertical (with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) relationships.
Every dysfunction can be traced to a lack of honor for authority.
The first commandment with promise is “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12).
A great man once said, “All truth is parallel.”
Not only will we be blessed in the “land” that God has given us when we honor our natural parents, but the same honor is a condition of God’s blessing as it relates to our spiritual leaders. We live in a generation that openly celebrates dishonor and disrespect.
The apostile Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:1-3, foretold our day: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent … ” (KJV).
Sad to say that dishonor and second-guessing of our leaders runs rampant in the church today. Something as simple as referring to our pastor by his or her title and not simply on a “buddy-buddy” first-name basis that so many today feel is appropriate under the misguided belief that there is no difference between the laity and the clergy.
Do you think over-familiarity with your spiritual leader/mentor can lead to disrespect? It did for Aaron and Miriam. (see Num 12:1-6) And the Lord called Aaron and Miriam to task on it immediately!
“They (Aaron and Miriam) said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He spoken through us too?’ But the Lord heard them … So immediately the Lord called out to Moses, Aaron and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you! And the Lord said to them, ‘Now listen to what I have to say!’” (NLT)
The Bible tells us that the Lord was very angry with them, and struck Miriam with leprosy!
Some of the most “super-spiritual” believers are the ones who have the biggest struggle with honoring their leaders, as they feel that they have "arrived" and are on equal footing with anyone. While it is true that we are equal in relationship to God, we are different in function, and God expects that difference to be honored.
God expected it of the children of Israel and He still expects it today.
A return to biblical honor of our spiritual leaders is an indispensable key that will begin to release a new dimension of the blessing of God into your life, your family and your ministry.
For the original article, visit gregmauro.com.