Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
Heavenly Father, I’m intrigued this morning with the godly competition encouraged by this one small sentence from your Word. We’re all familiar with competition—at its best and worse.
Some people live to outdo one another on the golf course. I’ve seen whole golf bags—even a golf cart, end up in a lake, after a friend sustained an embarrassing loss on the links. In the past 4 months, we’ve seen what competing on Wall Street can bring—incredible highs, and devastating lows. Even State Fairs can become heated arenas of pride and anguish, over the biggest watermelon, best pie, and cutest calf.
In this particular season, we are desperate for a most redemptive form of competition—outdoing “one another in showing honor.” Oh that respect, honor, kindness, compassion were championed again. Father, this isn’t a sweet, naïve sentiment; it’s the calling you’ve given us in Christ.
No doubt this is what Paul had in mind when he told dads not to exasperate their kids Eph. 6:4), and husbands not to be harsh with their wives (Col. 3:19). Even church discipline to be done with humility, and the goal of restoration (Gal. 6:1-2).
There’s always an honorable, kind way to do even the most difficult relational work—at home, at work, at church and in our culture. This isn’t a matter of being nice, but of honoring Jesus.
Some of us have difficult changes and transitions in front of us. Staff changes, firings and hiring’s, being repositioned, being replaced. Whether we are on the painful end of making hard choices, or the painful side of receiving a painful decision—grant us big grace, Abba-trust, and tenacity in honoring each other. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.