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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, September 6

Honor everyone.
—1 Peter 2:17a

It seems to be a simple directive. Honor everyone. Yet, it is often so difficult to do. It's not that we are mean-spirited or unwilling to respect others. It's that our hearts have been hurt, betrayed, or disappointed by others.  Our ideas have been re-shaped as a result of the behavior of others. 

We tell ourselves that it just isn't wise to honor everyone, because not everyone is honorable. If we honor those who do not act honorably, we are encouraging them to continue to act in unhealthy ways. Since we want to avoid becoming vulnerable, we are careful about honor. We give honor when it is due, but we parcel it out as if we were parceling out tokens to our children at the county fair. 

Honor isn't about behavior. It's about recognizing and acknowledging the divine stamp that is present on every human being—underneath the behavior, underneath the outward appearances, underneath the past history. It's our way of participating with God in the transformation of ourselves and others.

There have certainly been times in our own lives when we have been less than honorable, but that didn't re-define our essential nature. Even when we have been dishonorable, God's image has not left us. God's stamp has continued to rest on us.

When we simply honor everyone without discrimination, when we stop parceling out honor and start lavishly and generously casting it about, a miraculous thing occurs. Our own soul expands as we give honor away, and others rise to the level of esteem given to them.

Gracious God, give me eyes that see the image of God on everyone, and a heart that bows in awe before that image.