What Does It Mean To Honour God?
What does it mean to honor God?
In the Bible, God clearly states
“Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1 Sam 2:30)
Hence, a contrast can be drawn – honouring God is to not despise God. To despise is to feel a contempt for. To despise is of far greater a degree than to merely dislike. One can express a certain dislike for a person, but to despise may well be the purest form of hatred.
What is hatred then? In the Bible, it is also taught that to hate your brother is tantamount to committing murder.
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19-21)
More than just that, we, as believers, have been granted the gift of eternal life, because God, who first loved us, sent His only son to die for us, redeeming our transgressions out of sheer love for us. Hence, we should also practice love and tolerance to one another, for this reflects God’s love for us.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:14-16)
Back to the original question of what honouring God means, I believe it would mean loving your brother/sister, for starters. Of course, this is not limited to siblings. Loving one another through expressing tolerance, correcting one another, that we may all improve ourselves and learn from mistakes. Such small things are also considered as loving each other, and go some way towards honouring God.
It also means doing things that please God. Paul wrote to the Philippians,
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil 2:12-13)
Many times I have asked myself, and many have also raised this question – if salvation is free, why do we have to “work out our salvation”? If it may be summarised into a phrase, the phrase would be “as you are so freely given, so, freely give” (Matt 10:8). Salvation is given free. Hence, because of that, you are compelled, because of Jesus’ love, to also give freely unto others what you have received, through evangelism, through ministry (whether it be as a Musician, as a Church Cleaner, or as a Soundman).
Working out our salvation with fear and trembling does not literally mean I do stuff that pleases God because I am quaking in fear of Him. No, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling means to do what I do – stuff that pleases God, such as ministry, evangelism, loving one another – out of a deep reverence and love for God. It is when you serve with a sincere heart, that it honours God.
If I may put it literally, honouring God is making God smile. Why do you want to make God smile? It’s the same way you want to make your Dad smile. You want to make him smile because he loves you and cares for you, so you want to reciprocate that love in some way. When that reciprocation is successfully carried out, a smile is usually the easiest, most recognisable way to know that it is a success. Hence, to make God smile, it is the same. We want to honour God because God loves us, and we want to reciprocate that love in a way that we are good at, and in a way that will make God smile.
As you go about your daily lives, stop and think. Did what I say to my classmate just now please God, or not? Did it put a smile on His face? What can I do today to make God smile?