“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
One of the ways we as Christians are to express our love for one another is by the way we show honor. Paul tells us to honor others above ourselves. To honor someone is to place a high value upon them and to treat them with great respect. We read also from the book of Philippians –
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3)
There are also a number of other ‘one anothers’ that also involve our honor and respect. For instance:
We are to be submissive to one another
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We are to be humble before one another
1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…
We are to desire the best for one another
1 Thessalonians 5:15 … always seek to do good to one another…
We are to serve one another
Galatians 5:13 … through love serve one another.
We are to wash one another’s feet
John 13:14 … you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
It took the disciples a great while to learn the importance of honoring others above themselves. Twice we read from the gospel of Luke of where they argued over who among them was the greatest. (see Luke 9:46 22:24) Such self-centeredness among His disciples must have been very difficult for Jesus to watch as He knew that in only a matter of days, He would be dying on a cross for our sins.
Luke 22:25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. (a title of honor) 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”
In many ways, the kingdom of heaven is in complete contradiction to everything we know here on earth. On earth, the greatest always tries to be first and the losers are always last. On earth, the greatest think they should be served and the losers are the ones who serve them. On earth, the greatest like to be praised and the losers often find themselves ignored. But in heaven, all of this is reversed. In heaven, those who always had to be first will be last, and those who were always made to be last will be first.