Jesus was going around the nation of Israel healing the sick. Everywhere He went thousands and thousands of people were healed and transformed. People loved him, they received divine truth, their lives were changed. They honoured Jesus and the anointing on Him flowed to them. How you honour someone depends how well your life goes. If you cannot honour your father and mother, you will never live long and strong in the life. If you cannot honour your nation you will not succeed in life. If you cannot honour your pastor, you will never prosper on any level. So many people fail in life because they cannot honour someone else.
So, to help you as leaders, I am going to show you how to honour others. All of the increase in my life is due to honouring others well. I have great relationships with people from all over the world because I know how to honour people on every level. The power of God flowing through me comes because I know how to honour others.
Now Jesus is being honoured and miracles are happening, until He goes to Nazareth, his home town. When he gets up to speak, rather than honour Him, they start talking about His past, His previous career before he was called to minister, they start chatting about his family while He is preaching the Word to them (it’s all in Mark 6.1-5, have a read of it!). Now if you do that to others, you will not prosper in life. If you let others treat you like that, they will not prosper in life in your church!
Jesus confronted these people in Nazareth: “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And there he could do no mighty work”. An atmosphere of dishonour will be an atmosphere with very few miracles, very little life and very few manifestations. And if you think that describes more than a few churches in the UK, there could be a reason!
The first way to show honour to someone is called attitude. This the root of all honour, if you honour someone with a gift, but have the wrong attitude, it is not honour, it is bribery! I have seen that, people giving gifts to ministers they do not respect to curry favour and gain influence. That is not honour, that’s selfish behaviour. So we must start with an attitude of honour!
Jesus was actually stunned that He was not being honoured. The people questioned His teaching – that is an attitude of dishonour. The people did not believe in His mission – that is an attitude of dishonour. The people got offended at Him when He did not even do anything – that is dishonour. The people were talking throughout His teaching – that is dishonour. The people were discussing and picking apart His family and His past – that is dishonour! Those people never received their miracle because He was not being honoured while He was preaching. I have seen this. Twice in my life I have stopped a service and kicked people who were dishonouring me out the room, and both times we had some remarkable miracles afterwards.
The people just did not listen to Jesus! They attacked His backgroud, His family, His calling, His sincerity, His anointing. That is dishonour. It is the wrong attitude to receive.
I still encounter that attitude today, and it is amazing the different ways it happens. Some people will compare you to a minister who is 80 years old when you are not even 50! Some people will attack me for being British, for being from Essex, for being white, for all sorts of background issues. I have had people fail to receive from me because of the way I drink water while I preach! That’s just not clever. It’s an attitude that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! The people in Nazareth who said “Jesus’ ministry just is not that great” – they were proved right in their own lives.
I still have people who think their ministry is to relentlessly question my ministry! Who is your covering? What exactly makes you think you are a pastor? You are too young to be a pastor. You are too arrogant to be a pastor. You are too brash to be a pastor. Who appointed you? Which Bible College did you go to? Who do you think you are? Wouldn’t someone else do your job better?
Just this week I was told I cannot possibly have invited the right speakers to a conference because a certain person thought I should have brought other speakers. I offended someone because I asked them not to get up in the middle of one of Tree of Life Churches’ meetings and plug their own church. I was told by someone that because I disagree with someone else who believes something I don’t, then I cannot possibly be a good pastor. I was then told by someone else that by holding a marriage course not endorsed by another minister, I was vulnerable to deception and a bad shepherd. All of that comes from the same root – dishonour!
Some people think honour is all about money. Money is important and we will discuss that in another post. I often say honour is spelled c-a-s-h, and there is a truth there, you have to put your money where your mouth is, but you have to have the underlying attitude. You can give someone honour without anything tangible changing hands – that’s called an attitude of honour. We need to know what honour is!
To honour someone with attitude is to think well of them, to expect the best from them, to praise them. Questioning the person aggressively, suspecting a person, accusing them of trying to lead people into deception, saying they do not know how to run a conference because they did not invite speakers you know, all of that is a lack of honour. I am not saying we swing the pendulum to the side where we accept any behaviour without question, but when someone is serving you for month after month, bringing truth to you day after day, your default position should not be to suspect and doubt! That attitude of dishonour will lead to you spending your life spinning in circles.
When a son honours his father, you can hear it in the words. When he dishonours his father – you can hear that in his words. Accusing words, blame words, reproaching words. If you let a culture of dishonour sprout in your church or your living church, or your business, or wherever you are leading, then no one flourishes.
You need to learn to honour your pastors as a pastor, and you need to help your people know how to honour you. Honour starts with how you think about someone, and how you take control of your thoughts about them!