Is It Right to Seek Honor for Yourself?

So where has everybody gone?  It seems that Life in Mordor has evolved into my own personal blog these days.  Apparently things get kind of slow around here during the summer months.  But hey, I can live with that.  It’s just that I’m starting to get a little lonely over here.

Anyway, as long as we’re looking at Ted Haggard and Heather Mercer, let me bring up the question:  Is it right to desire honor for yourself or to pursue it?

During the course of Jesus’ time on earth, he told a number of parables which came down to the idea of “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Luke 18:14, Matthew 23:12, Luke 14:11)

First of all, honor is a good thing to seek after.  The fact that you desire such things as honor, affirmation, and validation does not mean that you are selfish; it means that you are human.  However, as we look at what Jesus has to say, we see that there is a right way and a wrong way to pursue honor.

The wrong way is to actively attempt to seek honor for yourself.  Honor is not something that you take hold of yourself; it is something which is bestowed upon you.  There is no one in American society who is hated more than the person who thinks more of himself or herself than he/she ought to, and there is nothing which we Americans love more than to see such a person receive his/her comeuppance.  Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, and Lane Kiffin are prime examples of this.

So what is the right way to pursue honor?  Jesus lets on to this in Luke 14:8-11:

When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this man your seat.”  Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.  But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.”  Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

In other words, don’t try to actively take hold of honor for yourself.  In the end, you will wind up with nothing but abject humiliation.  If anything, seek to make yourself lower than others, and eventually honor will be bestowed upon you.

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One thought on “Is It Right to Seek Honor for Yourself?

  1. Hey Joe, sorry I’ve been absent lately. The summer is kind of busy, what with all of the sitting around by the pool and reading comic books. Oh, and watching Doctor Who, there’s that, too.

    Seriously, though, your posts have been great the past few weeks and I’ll put up some comments soon, and I have some posts queued up that I’m going to put out in the next few weeks. Keep up the good work.

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