16 February 2013

Don't Kill Time

Our culture doesn’t really place much of a priority on ‘honor.’

In Japan, when people meet for the first time, it is honoring to bow slightly -not a big deep bow-  but a bow to put yourself just below the other person to show honor. It is also honoring to always bring a gift when visiting another’s home. It doesn't have to be something expensive; it can be something very simple. When the gift is given, the giver always presents it with two hands and the receiver accepts it with two hands as a gesture of honor to one other.  (If only wide receivers could remember this concept with a football, but I digress…)

Imagine a visitor from another country coming here and wondering, “How do I show honor in the United States?"

There’s not much to tell because the general consensus broadcasts that it doesn't really matter.
We have become a people without honor.

In Mark 6 Jesus was returning back to His hometown; not His birthplace, but the place where He grew up. A year prior to this visit, He was actually ran out of town and His own people threatened to kill Him. So, He comes back. Prior to returning, He was teaching God's Word, doing all sorts of miracles. He turned water into wine, He raised the dead, He opened blind eyes, healed deaf ears, multiplied loaves and fishes to feed thousands.

Jesus left there and went to His hometown, accompanied by His disciples. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given Him, that He even does miracles!" Mark 6:1-2 

His hometown folks were saying, 'Wow! This guy is amazing! His teaching is powerful! His miracles are awesome! How can He do these things?' Then in verse three, someone says:

"Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son, the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't His sisters here with us?"  And they took offense at Him. Mark 6:3

In other words… 'isn't this that ordinary guy that we grew up around? You know, wasn't Jesus that kid in class that was always annoying, because the teacher always liked him, he always got a 100 on every exam. Isn't that the guy who built your kitchen table? Isn't he the ordinary guy we played stick ball with?'

Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." Mark 6:4

The Greek word that is translated 'without honor' is the word atimos (at'-ee-mos). Atimos means to dishonor; to treat as common or ordinary.  If you want a common or an ordinary marriage, dishonor your spouse by treating her as common or ordinary.

Why does it seem like during the early years of a relationship that all is great and you are ‘all in love?’ It’s because you are continually showing her honor. You open the door; you bring presents, ‘here's some flowers…’  You are showing honor over and over, and over again.

Then, marriage happens, and you begin to take one another for granted. Instead of showing honor, you treat each other as common. Eventually, what once was great is diminished because you show dishonor.

The flip side of dishonor is the word honor. In the Greek, it's the word time. It is spelled t-i-m-e, but pronounced ‘tim-may.’ Time means to value, to respect, or to highly esteem. It means to treat as precious, weighty, or valuable.

What’s the difference, anyway? Honoring esteems and lifts up. Dishonoring devalues and tears down. To honor someone is to believe the best about them. To dishonor is to believe the worst. Honor lifts, dishonor tears down.

Did you spend Valentine’s Day evaluating your relationship with your wife and finding yourself asking, “What happened?”

Are you showing her honor? Are you building her up by words and action that lift up rather than devalue and tear down?

You may be thinking right now, “I’ll show honor when she ________ !“ (you fill in the blank).  NO! That’s absolutely wrong! Treat her with honor no matter what!

One of the reasons your marriage is bad may be because you continually dishonor your wife. You may look at other couples and say “if my relationship was more like theirs, I would show honor."

I promise, the reason their marriage is different and where it is today is because they have spent years showing each other honor in theirs, and you have spent time dishonoring each other in yours.

So, I’m beating you up a little…but in an honorable way, I’m using BOTH hands!

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