A Circle of Honor
You might say we are never more like God than when we are honoring others. The Bible commands us to do so: "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God" (1 Pet. 2:17 ESV). When we honor the people around us, when we work this way on teams and small groups, we are doing something God has always done and is always doing. We are reflecting the Trinity itself.
Jesus drew circles of honor and called people into them. He built teams and communities in ways that people found absolutely compelling and irresistible. During his earthly ministry he constantly crowned people with honor, particularly and uniquely those who had been dishonored and disenfranchised by the world around them. Think of all the "crowns" he placed on unsuspecting heads, including the woman at the well, the 10 lepers, a bunch of fishermen, tax collectors, a woman caught in the act of adultery, little children, and even a widow who barely had two pennies to rub together.
When Jesus left heaven and came to earth, he stepped beyond the Trinity's circle of honor in which he dwelt and he drew a new one. The first circle of honor he formed included all those who followed Him, especially his twelve disciples. He drew them into a tight team, this fellowship of honor and community, only to send them out to draw other circles of their own, communities of faith, vibrant teams, as well. He asks that the circle of disciples be brought into a relational unity that reflects the same experience he had in the Divine Circle, the Trinity.
When you draw a circle of honor around someone, something powerful happens. In a culture quick to dishonor, you refresh a soul by seeing him or her the way God does—as someone made to reflect his image. When we honor someone, you create a sneak preview of heaven and reflect something ultimately found in the nature of God himself.
Adapted from The Teaming Church: Ministry in the Age of Collaboration (Abingdon, 2012).
Copyright © 2012 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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