When we’ll concede salvation, but not honour

healthy-self-esteem

As Christians, we know that God saves those who don’t deserve it. It is often with joy (and sometimes indignation) that we will admit that a person could live the most awful life, committing the most heinous of sins, and still be offered forgiveness and salvation on their death beds.

Many life-long Christians, some of whom the world would consider to be morally flawless, will even concede that they are no more deserving of salvation than the murderer or adulterer or even the paedophile.

Honour, though? That is something different.

I’ve been thinking about Paul. Here is a man, who was one of the chief persecutors of Christians, and yet became the best known, and most honoured of the apostles.

What of those precious saints that he once tortured or killed? Stephen’s name we know, but most others we don’t. Sure, they are honoured in heaven, but on earth it is not their names that have gone down in history, but the name of their tormentor.

Sometimes God saves those who are least deserving, and then brings them honour in this life above those who it seems have been faithful all along. The truly righteous person will not resent this. They will be so consumed by the glory and will of God that they care not who brings the Word, or who receives the honour, as long as Christ is preached.

May I learn to honour others above myself, and Jesus above all.

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One comment on “When we’ll concede salvation, but not honour

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    The Bible was written in and speaks the language of an honor/shame society. Every man struggled to attain more and more honor and to keep the women in their life in control to prevent the women from shaming them and their family and bringing them dishonor. Honor is like a good reputation, everyone speaks highly of you. Shame, therefore, is a bad reputation.
    Saul was an honorable Pharisee. When he became associated with The Way – he became a shameful example of how that backwards cult could pull away even the most faithful teacher of the law. But when you read in Acts 9 the people asking themselves: “Isn’t this Saul who …” would also be the ones attempting to kill him. My guess is that it was a justification for an honor killing, Paul had so thoroughly shamed himself, his teacher, the Pharisees by turning their backs on them that the only way to restore the honor of his teacher and the Pharisees was to blot out Saul so that the reputation of the Pharisees could be restored.
    We might honor Paul today, but we don’t always understand that in Paul’s day, he was dishonorable to those deeply rooted in the former like he had – the one he turned against. What honor he had in a Christian context he had to get at a great cost.

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