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Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to be an honorable man

 

In the matter of giving money to needy, first-century saints, Paul makes the statement, "For we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (2 Cor. 8:21). Every child of God needs the same desire to be and do what is honorable in the sight of men. Often times, we do not stop to ask if the words we say, the information we share, the efforts we make, the ambitions we possess, or the actions we take are honorable. Yet, intentions and motivations matter.

In fact, it is a matter of the heart. Paul said to think on honorable things (Phil. 4:8). This word means "worthy of respect and honor, noble, dignified, and serious" and is used of men who would be elders (1 Tim. 3:8), aged men (Ti. 2:2), Christian women (1 Tim. 3:11), and used by Josephus and Hermes to describe people of the highest quality (BDAG 919). Inherent in the word is the idea of trustworthiness, being aboveboard, and not possessed of an ugly, hidden agenda. It describes one who is exactly what he seems, and what he seems is righteous. What a fragile quality, one so easily spoiled by indiscretion and intemperance! Each of us needs to ask, concerning our thoughts, words, and deeds, "Is it honorable?"

 

The church is often hurt by those whose plans and motives are less than honorable. It is important that our agenda never be selfish or our intent malicious. Such vices as gossip, hypercriticism, greed, envy, railing, bitterness, and jealousy are many times driven by dishonorableness. Cloaking one's true feelings, in a hypocritical or two-faced manner, is not honorable. Flattery and false praise is not honorable. Leading people to believe something that is not true or the whole truth, to make ourselves look better or justified, is not honorable. The list is nearly endless.

It is important that we care about being honorable. It is important in business dealings, interacting with the opposite sex, and in promises made. It is also important in how we treat one another in the family of God. Like Paul, may we have regard for what is honorable in the eyes of God and men.

 

Neal Pollard
 

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