In Ruth 2:5, “Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is that?” He must have been attracted to her, surely. What would you do if the opportunities before you are in sync with your own desires and possible prayer requests, but violates the principles of God? Think about that for a minute. You are honorable when you can protect the next person from your own desires just as we see Boaz protecting Ruth, this vulnerable girl. After all, she was getting free food from him, he could have manipulated and defiled her, but he chose not to. The lesson here is that a person of honor is one who has developed a lifestyle of honor and doesn’t violate those who are vulnerable or even not deserving of honor.
Sadly, even in the Body of Christ, there are three sets of people we still tend to marginalize and dishonor:
- Those who have made mistakes (like moral failure)
For the last set of people, it may even seem justifiable to ask, “How can I honor somebody who has just committed fornication, abortion or stealing?” “How can I honor someone else who is gay?” Our prototype is Jesus. Even when he was experiencing excruciating pain on the cross, he still honored the criminal he died with. I believe that we should be custodians of hope, especially by empowering those in the Kingdom who have misbehaved. In our church which is run entirely by establishing a free environment and supported by high levels of grace and empowerment, sin resurfaces quickly. And I am often compelled to confront people when they err. The first I do is to raise their heads up and not allow the shame of their error engulf them. Shame has its own torment, why torment them even more by rubbing it in?
We are not perfect, but are being perfected. There is no way you will treat everybody well and you will be treated well. Some people are even too damaged to treat you well or even receive the goodwill you have towards them. You are not a chameleon, don’t ever change who you are. You do not honor people because they are honorable. You honor people because you are honorable.