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Honor Versus Disgrace

Honor or disgrace is often given for your achievements during your lifetime. Men are honored or disgraced with a few kind words describing an achievement of excellence or a life sentence for a deed that violated societyís law. Honor is a reward for virtue and disgrace is the consequence for wrong doing. Respect and special merit are given to those that demonstrate a strong concern for his fellow man or for a lifetime of work that benefits the society he lives in.  

However, those who have earned honor, show a distinctive act that surpasses what is considered the reasonable undertaking of man.  Sometimes the effort has danger and possible harm involved but you muster your strength and do whatever is required to overcome the danger. The military calls it bravery beyond the call of duty honored by parades and includes pinning a distinguished medal on the uniform.

Honor is a manís method of showing approval especially among those of rank. The judge is called your honor, the king your majesty, the mayor the honorable and the police officer Sir. The method is the way that men recognize the rank of the person of authority, not so much the character or reputation of the person in authority.

However, the character or reputation of the person in authority demands accountability to the community that gave them authority. They are expected to live exemplary lives because being a public servant requires a higher standard of morals to live by. Of late we have seen one politician after another honor the public by resigning in shame after violating the peoples trust. Some were responsible enough to resign from authority before being exposed.

There are rewards given to students who have achieved and maintained a higher level of learning as seen their grade averages. They have made an effort to study advanced subjects and scored well on the test. The honor to deliver the valedictory or parting address at graduation is given to the student with the highest academic rank in their respective class.

Similar conduct worthy of honor is found in God within his noble character and the numerous qualities of grace that he exercises through love. The same qualities of grace are instilled into Godís children with encouragement for doing good works. In other words, our heavenly father is training his children to do good things worthy of merit and be generous while doing so.

Just as Jesus taught his disciples humility while washing their feet that it was just as important to know leadership begins at the lowest level.  Otherwise deeds with honor include meeting the needs of the less fortunate person where he or she is at. Agape love requires that you also meet the emotional needs of the person and help them reach a point where they can stand on their own feet again. Meeting the needs of the less fortunate always requires more than giving out of the pocket.

Agape love is a disposition of benevolence with a characteristic of generosity. This love is more than a gift given to the poverty-stricken solely for the reason they are in need, it also requires you to give of your time and life. Agape is a love combined with compassion so that when you see a need you also have a desire to solve the affliction.  In addition love finds no fault; rather it covers over a multitude of sins. It is not quick to judge but willing to pardon faults knowing you have similar faults.

God knows the man who loves him but those who loves his neighbor as themselves will be honored by God.

What we find is that by meeting the needs of those in need we are honoring the wishes of our heavenly father who loves all of his creation. God prepared good works from the beginning for man to do, Jesus said the sick and poor are always around us. This gives us the opportunity to honor one another not only with the fruit of our labor but with Godís love.

On that awesome day when all men pass under the shepherdís rod, Jesus will separate men and women as if sheep from goats and he will say.

What he is saying those you honored through the love of Christ represented my needs and you will receive a just reward. This love is developed through obedience of the royal commands given to us by God.

People are honored for their achievements during their lifetime and it becomes like a badge of merit that you can carry with you the rest of your life. In the same way God will honor those who all their life have done good works with long life.

On the other hand, disgrace is societyís method of showing its disapproval for a personís action. To those who are disgraced by the way they live, society not only denies them respect and honor, but also deals harshly with them to correct their behavior.  Their reputation and how they are known changes the publicís feelings about them. The person character becomes one that cannot be trusted and they lose friends over their shame. They are often avoided deliberately and the public spurns others. From Godís perspective those who did not do anything in love to meet the needs of the stranger will be subject to his wrath. Those who did not honor one another as commanded by God will be isolated from his kingdom, being separated from God and those he loves forever.

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