Our culture has lost its sense of honor. You see it in the cynicism and sarcasm that tears down everything without limit. You see it in the way that people talk to each other.
We live in a culture of dishonor.
But honor is a big deal to God, so it should be a big deal to us. You can’t follow God with the depth that you’re looking for if you don’t understand the principle of honor.
3 Principles for Honoring God
(Spoiler alert: We’ll talk about how finances comes in at the end)
1. You honor what you prioritize.
We’re limited beings, priorities are necessary for us to flourish. You have to set priorities for where you will invest your time, energy, and money.
Priority communicates value.
If you want to honor someone, you prioritize them. God wants to be prioritized in your life as a sign of what you value.
Let’s take a look at Colossians 1:15-18:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Do you notice the priority language Paul uses here? Paul is saying that when you look out at the universe’s wonders, God comes first before all of it.
If you want to honor God, you put Him first.
How does God get priority in your life?
Look at each resource you have:
- Time – How does God get priority in your time? Do you go through your day and think, “oh gosh I forgot to give God time,” or is He supreme in your thoughts, filling your imagination?
- Talents – Do you use your abilities to serve others and build God’s Church?
- Love/Compassion – Do you love and care for the people God has placed in your life?
- Money – Does God show up first in your finances?
2. You honor with your heart.
You can give God a lot of religious activities while keeping your heart at a distance from Him.
In scripture, there’s a group of people called the Pharisees. They were the religious people in Jesus’ day, and were the best at giving God their behaviors, but they retained control of their hearts.
They had issues with Jesus and constantly got in social duels with Him. Look at what Jesus said about them in Matthew 15:1-9.
Matthew 15:8 says,
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
It’s possible to be generous, attend church, pray, read scripture, and still have a heart far from God.
God is after more than just your behavior, He’s after your heart.
He’s not interested in you playing a religious game, He wants your desires.
How do you do this? Give God your desires, the thing you’re after, and make Him, His ways, His desires, the life you’re after.
3. You honor with your actions.
God wants your heart, and your actions should flow from your heart.
Honor without action is not honor at all. If you can’t point and show how you’re honoring God in a tangible, physical way, you’re not honoring God.
1 John 2:3-5 says,
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him.
It’s harsh, but it’s right. John is saying that when there is a gap between what you say and what you do, that’s lying. Being a person of integrity means doing your best to close those gaps in your life.
God is gracious and reveals these gaps in your life one at a time. He wants to be sure that your words and your actions are not separated from Him.
How does this connect to your finances?
The most vivid picture of what you honor and value is how you spend your money.
Honoring God with your finances looks like prioritizing God, giving in a way that’s connected to your heart, and actively being generous.
Tithing is not about being generous; It’s a show of honor and respect.
Challenge: Never let the process of giving to the church become so familiar that you miss the fact that you’re worshipping God. When you give, you’re saying, God, have my heart.
God gave His first and His best to you, so you give your first and your best to Him.
The invitation is this: how can you start honoring God?
To learn more about tithing, check out this blog: