What do I owe you?

Is there a distinction between respect and honor? They are both of the heart and they both are shown by action. To say a person is respectable, or to say they are honorable would seem to be saying the same thing, except that there is more weight on the word Honor. Honor is equal to the highest level of respect. Remember the definition of honor? To honor is to value as heavy. When something was heavy, it was considered to be worth more. To honor is to value someone as very important to you, showing deference. Honor is also having a good name or public reputation. A showing of merited respect. High worth, and as a verb, a gesture of deference (bow). The root word in Hebrew literally means: To cause to shine, to glorify or to add luster.

Honor notes

When it comes to honor and respect, most people think about it two ways:

I. They demanding it for themselves. Have you ever been handed something by someone and when you reach and grab for it, they refuse to let it go until you say “Thank you”? They may even accompany their firm grip with the phrase “What do you say?” insisting that they be shown the politeness and respect that they are pretty sure they deserve. When most people think about respect, their thinking is self-centered – “You should respect ME!” It’s vitally important to remember that respect and honor come from the heart and by their nature, cannot be taken. They can only be given. Someone may demand respect but, unless their lives and actions command it, making such a demand, actually diminishes their respectability.

II. Some have the idea that they will only give honor and respect when they believe it’s been earned. “She hasn’t earned my respect”. There is a real problem with this thinking. It breeds hardhearted, stiff necked, rebellion. Some may let anger or bitter feelings dictate whether or not they can honor, or respect someone.  They may say “I have no respect for _____” but when we really look at it, feelings should not be allowed to get in the way of our showing honor to those to whom it’s due.

If respect is owed, it should be paid. If you owe someone honor, pay that honor. When most people think about respect, they don’t think this way. Instead, their thinking is self-centered – “They should respect ME!”  This is against scripture, which teaches that there are those who God Almighty commands us to honor. We owe it to these people and we need to give it to them.

Rom 13:7,8. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that Loves another has fulfilled the law.

If you make a debt without being certain how you are going to pay it back, you are setting yourself up to steal. You may think of yourself as an upstanding citizen who always follows the law, and would never intentionally do anything wrong, but if you don’t have a plan to pay what you owe, you will probably over extend your ability, and leave someone who trusted you, wishing they hadn’t.  It doesn’t matter at this point what kind of person you think you are. Your image of yourself does not match the cold, hard reality of who you are. You are self-deceived. You have judged yourself by your intentions, while the rest of the world is judging you by the outcome.

In the same way, you owe a debt of love, respect and honor to certain people. Keeping Romans 13:7 & 8 in context, Paul is talking about rendering respect and honor.  He indicates in this passage that there are those to whom honor is due.  If it’s due (owed), and we refuse to pay it, is it stealing?  While we might think that they don’t deserve our respect, we need to respect or honor those God tells us to, out of honor for Him.

There are those out there who are starving for someone to hold them as valuable, craving the feeling of being held in honor and viewed as important. They may have longed for it all their lives but have felt powerless to change it.  Many thinking it is out of their hands. But…there is something that they CAN do.

Rev. Keith Moore says it this way “Pay the respect you owe, and reap the respect you sow”.  Isn’t that good.  When we obey God in this area, and honor by faith, even when we don’t feel like it, we’re planting seed that will grow into a harvest in our own lives.  Think on that for a minute.

Pay the respect you owe, and reap the respect you sow.  – Keith Moore

Jesus said in Mark 4:26 – 28,  “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how. For the earth brings out fruit of itself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full grain in the ear.”  Think about it for a minute…The whole kingdom works this way, but we need to understand that it all started with a seed.  If we want to be honored and valued, we need to begin sowing honor and value.  If we can learn to give honor when it’s due, we will begin to see the fruit of honor showing up in our own lives.

Are you ready to take a step?  Find someone you owe honor, or respect to this week and find a way to intentionally show it.  Remember, Father’s day is the 19th.  A perfect time to express honor!

If you have been helped and think this could help others, please consider sharing it with them.

I appreciate you!

Victors, Victims & Forgiveness

I wanted to write about forgiveness in the blog post this week.  My problem was that I had this big ugly area in my life where I was holding onto a little bit of a grudge. I had to get it resolved so that I wasn’t being a total hypocrite when I talked to you about forgiveness.  That’s right, I’m just like you.  I face it too.  I also get the wonderful opportunities to wallow in my own self pity.  The thing is though, when you know what to do, God expects you to do what you know.  Have you ever thought about it?  Not doing what you know to do is really just increasing your disobedience to God.  There’s a short word for that, it’s called sin.  This is the reason why I’m publishing late. For those who look for my posts and miss them when they don’t show, I’m sorry.


Forgiveness is releasing someone from debt.  It may be that you were hurt physically from an act of violence or you were hurt emotionally by mean or inconsiderate people. You may actually have a monetary debt that you owe.  Either way you look at it, forgiveness is always tied to debt.  There can be no forgiveness if nothing is owed.

Let’s look at the word “Owe” for a second.  Owe is something that is either earned or comes through entitlement. It’s owed to them, it’s a debt.  This is especially true in the area of respect.  There are some people that we should respect just purely based on their position.  If we can’t respect them, we need to at least respect the position.  This is owed.  It’s due and it should be paid.  If you consider what I wrote about last week about unfulfilled expectations, there are things that we think are owed us but are not.  We think we deserve them but we don’t.  It’s a slippery slope when you start thinking about what you deserve, or you have expectations that you have no right to have.  You need to have a close look at yourself & be honest.  Is it really owed to me?

Forgiveness happens when we release people from the obligation of paying the debt.  We let them off the hook.  Matt. 6:15 says “But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.  Forgiveness for the Christian is not an option.  There is no condition found in the Bible where it’s okay to hang onto unforgiveness.  We see and interesting story in Matthew 18:23-35.  The bottom line of the story is that if the Heavenly Father can forgive what He has forgiven, He’s within His right to expect us to forgive also.

Forgiveness is all about you.  All of the control and responsibility of forgiveness totally rests in your hands.  No one else can do this for you.  If you won’t do it, it won’t get done.  Here are some things that helped me to do the right thing this week.

  1. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.  When I hold a grudge, it’s not hurting the person I’m upset with nearly as much as it’s hurting me.  When I forgive, I’m really allowing myself to move on and have some peace.
  2. It always involves making a choice.  Forgiveness always follows the choice to forgive.  I read somewhere this week that when a person says “I can forgive but I can’t forget”, what they are really saying is “I won’t forgive”.  Very often unforgiveness is the very thing that’s keeping you from being able to move forward.  In order to get better, you need to release the debt.
  3. Forgiveness takes away your victim status.  When you are hurt and have not forgiven, you get to be pitiful and feel sorry for yourself.  Don’t be deceived though, that’s weakness.  Strong people don’t feel sorry for themselves.  If you are tired of being a victim and want to take control of your own direction in your life, then you need to stop reacting to what others are doing to you and instead decide how your will respond.  Acting from an decision is way better than acting from an injury.  You are also saying that though this may hurt, it will not be the determining factor in what you do next.  That will come from you and you alone.  Forgiveness is really one of the first steps toward becoming strong.  By forgiving, you are breaking the yoke off of your own neck and taking away the problem or injury’s control over you.

It would be unjust for God to require something from you that you are unable to do.  Since He gives us no options when it comes to forgiveness, we know that:

  1. We can do it.  He would not ask if it were impossible.
  2. It’s important that we do it.  What many people don’t realize is the spiritual implications of not walking in forgiveness.  If you won’t forgive, God can’t forgive you.

“Accept important apologies you never received.  If you love someone and you want to forgive them, Relieve them of the need to apologize to you, for anything.”  www.marcandangel.com

So what now?  I issue this challenge.  In the next 30 days, take at least two practical steps toward resolving unforgiveness in your own life.  There are people who have hurt you or owe you somehow, find a way to let them off the hook.  In the long run you’ll be glad you did.  God’s way is always the best.  What are some practical ways to demonstrate forgiveness?  Let me hear your thoughts by leaving a comment.