In the dream, our family was traveling through a distant city during a vacation. We read a notice in our hotel lobby about a church meeting taking place in a school auditorium. When we arrived, the place was packed to the walls. It reminded me of my days in the Jesus Movement. People were sitting in all available chairs and any open space on the floor. All the walls were lined with people. Excitement filled the atmosphere. We entered the room as worship was ending and sat down.
After a few minutes, someone noticed who I was, and I was asked to bring the teaching. As I began to speak, I realized the people were still talking like people do when a transition in a worship service takes place. I assumed things would settle down and the moment would pass. As I looked out over the crowd, I noticed clusters of personal conversations were happening all over the room. Even the leaders of the gathering were talking and not listening. I let it pass for a few minutes more thinking once again it would stop, but it only continued. After another minute or two, I stopped preaching and said, “I have preached in many places and different cultures. Never have I seen such dishonor as I am seeing today. The Lord wants to continue manifesting His presence in your midst, but dishonor will become your greatest stumbling block if not dealt with.” And then the dream ended.
As we come to what is hopefully the end of a pandemic and its lockdown and we are still licking our wounds from a contentious election cycle, the Church appears to be frayed and tired and out of synch with her mission. Camps of undisciplined opinion have emerged and divided our ranks allowing opinion to take center stage, at times even at the expense of the Word. Only one thing will bring us back together – love expressed by honor.
Honor is never defined as agreement. It is most clearly seen when we disagree most stringently about something and feel the pain of our disagreement on a personal level. It is a gift we offer to those with whom we disagree. Honor is not defined by who deserves it. When extended, it creates an environment where the life of the Spirit will dwell most profoundly among a diverse representation of culture.
The extension of honor between believers who are separated by personal opinion but still joined together in the Spirit is where the Lord will come and make His presence known in the most profound ways. Honor is where our love becomes a testimony to the world that we belong to Christ and it may well be what sets the stage for the next great revival – a revival of honor.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).