Honor and respect can be closely related, but are they the same? What are the main differences between the two?
A definition of honor
When I think of honor, I think of standing up when a senior enters the room, honoring our veterans who have served and still serve our country as held in high regard, and giving honor. to those to whom it is due. It is recognizing and showing public admiration for someone and showing them respect, as shown for particular merit and giving recognition or esteem to those who deserve it. I remember many stories where people risked their lives to save others. I believe that the police, army, firefighters and other public officials also owe the honor they receive for their service to the community or their nation (at least when they are not breaking the law). Each person I do honor to I respect.
A definition of respect
As for respect, I believe I respect those who deserve to be honored as a form of respect for what they do or what they have done in the past. As such, respect is a positive feeling of admiration or deference to a person or other entity (such as a nation or person) for their specific actions and conduct that deserve such respect. For example, I respect the local authorities and the law so I try to obey the laws of the country. When I see a police officer, I respectfully call him “officer” or sir or madam in order to show him the respect he deserves. I also respect the elderly, but my respect also extends to the sanctity of human life. I respect the dignity of each individual and treat them in such a way that I don’t care whether they are poor or rich, black or white, American or immigrant. Respect is a way of treating or thinking about something or someone. For example, I treated my seminary teachers with respect because I admired them, but I also respected my classmates and I respected their opinions, even if they were different from mine. The only exceptions were when they disdained Jesus as God and believed he was just a man or other non-biblical views. I didn’t respect their opinion, but I still showed them respect as an individual when I communicated with them. I don’t agree with everyone but that doesn’t mean I have to be rude. I think it’s important that I agree to disagree but not to be rude.
Honoring Bible Verses
The Bible gives us many good definitions of honor and shows that Christians should honor those who are honored. The fifth commandment says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you»(Ex 20.12). The Hebrew word for honor is “kabad” and means “to be heavy, heavy” and “glorious”, so we must take this commandment seriously because it is heavy with responsibility and has great weight in the sight of God. When Paul repeats this command in Ephesians 6: 2, the Greek verb “timaō” is used and means “to esteem” to “set the value of” and also “to revere” or “to revere” in order to honor our parents, that is to have a high regard for them, to worship them or to have a high regard for them, so much so that it carries a lot of weight as we know before God. This fifth commandment does not say honor your parents if they are worthy or if they are Christians. This command is not qualified by extenuating circumstances.
Honor of God and Honor for God
God said to “those who honor me, I will honor, and those who despise me will be lightly esteemed”(1st Sam 2:30) therefore God must absolutely be honored. In addition, the psalmist writes: “For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord grants favor and honor. He denies nothing good to those who walk uprightly(Psalm 84: 11). In difficult times, God says “When he calls me, I will answer him; I will be with him in difficulty; I will save him and honor him(Psalm 91:15). God will honor all who honor him and “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is wealth, honor and life”(Prov 22: 4). For those who seek to live a life of obedience and pleasing to God, he says “Whoever seeks righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor”(Prov 21:21). Peter writes that there are no exceptions to honoring others, writing “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear god. Honor the emperor“(1st Pet 2:17) and”in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy”(1 Pet 3:15).
Respect the verses of the Bible
When we think of respectable people in the Bible, I think of “Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who also sought the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”(Mark 15:43). Paul wrote to the church in Rome to “Pay everyone what is due to them: taxes to whom the tax is due, income to whom the income is due, respect to whom we owe respect, honor to whom honor is due“(Rom 13: 7), Paul asks:”let the wife see that she respects her husband“(Eph 5:33), and”respect those who work among you and are over you in the Lord and warn you”(1st Thess 5:12) such as church leaders, pastors, elders, deacons, and teachers. We are told to be respectful of others when asked about our faith in Christ and “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being ready to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; but do it with gentleness and respect”(1 Pet 3:15).
I respect you, even if you don’t respect me. I will try to show the honor to whom the honor is due. I will respect you even if I don’t agree with you or you with me. Believers are asked to show honor and respect to others and this is never qualified by the behavior of the other person. Respect others and honor others and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity, but in humility count others more important than yourself(Phil 2: 3).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.