September 16, 2017
READ: 1 Timothy 4:6-5:2
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come (4:8).
Darkness wrapped the jet in a quiet comfort, while a few reading lights remained on. Though it was late in the evening and passengers were trying to sleep, the loud chatter of two young women could be heard above the hum of the plane’s engine. Suddenly, an older woman seated in front of them turned around and sharply exclaimed, “Would you two be quiet!” Taken aback, they looked around to see who had heard and began laughing disrespectfully. Turning to glare once more, the disrupted sleeper settled back in her seat.
Both parties could have been more civil. Impatience. Selfcentredness. Entitlement. Each of these qualities can cause us to treat others badly. Whether masked by artificially polite behaviour or displayed in outright contempt, the struggle to honour others is evident in our world.
We too can feel unrelenting pressure to demand what culture says is within our rights. Those who’ve been changed by Jesus’ love, however, realise our motivation, though lived out in this world, comes from heaven. The temptation to dishonour should be met by the reality that our hope is “in the living God” who saves (1 Timothy 4:10). Godliness—living out thoughts, actions and words that reflect Christ’s own—flows from Him and sets the path for us to honour Him.
Even the tendency towards dishonour that all too often accompanies generational differences can be overcome with our decision to live and speak in love, faith and purity (4:12, 5:1-2). Paul’s words to Timothy remind us honouring others must be prominent in our interactions, not only because we bear the image of God but because the world is watching us (4:16). May we reveal Jesus as He provides what we need to treat others with respect.
365-day-plan: John 15:1-16
Read 1 Peter 2:1-12 and consider how your spiritual identity in Christ changes you and—in turn—changes the way others see you.
How did you respond the last time you felt dishonoured by someone? When we dishonour others, how can our decision to clean up the relational mess we’ve made cause us to grow spiritually?