Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 12 – When Honor Is No Honor

“Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1

Devotional Thought For The Day

Since most people do not experience “snow in summer,” perhaps the better point of comparison for us is “rain in harvest.”  However, many people are so removed from agrarian experience that they may have never considered this problem.  First, rain ruins hay that has been cut and is “drying” for the proper time of baling.  Second, some crops like wheat and corn need to dry out to an optimal moisture content prior to being harvested and stored.  Third, rain can make fields so muddy that the crops can’t be harvested.  I’m not a farmer, so there may be even more problems that rain in harvest causes that I’m unaware of.  One can imagine the trouble this might cause for harvesting root crops like potatoes or sugar beets.  After spending several months tending to these crops, and investing a good deal of money in them, you can imagine the frustration and irritation that Fall rains bring to farmers – who just want to get their crops in safely and profitably.

Snow in summer is also out of place.  In higher elevations this can happen, and perhaps closer to the poles.  We’ve had camping trips where it snowed on us in June, and also the first week of August.  Such wet, cold, and miserable camping is not exactly what you have in mind when you plan, set vacation dates, pack all the gear, and trek to the campground.  Also, summer snow can be devastating to trees and bushes that are fully leafed – and to the electrical lines they tend to fall on.  It is abnormal, out of place, inappropriate, and irritating to have to endure – just like the honor that is often bestowed upon fools, and sadly, there is plenty of this phenomenon that occurs in our world today.  Sometimes it is just completely baffling how certain people are “honored.”  But there is always a larger context – honors are bestowed on the basis of certain criteria, and those criteria are set by groups of people who espouse certain things, and groups of human beings, in that we are all sinful, often become confused about truth, reality, and what is truly honorable, and so it is and always has been the case that honor is bestowed foolishly on “fools.”  Understanding the phenomenon, however, doesn’t make it any more palatable, or any less irritating – especially when the fools then parade their “honors” and elevate themselves.  Lord, have mercy!

So true wisdom always takes these things into consideration, and recognizes that not all “honor” is truly honorable.  The corruption that is often involved in the procuring of earthly “honors” makes this something to generally avoid, although we should always do our best and work hard at accomplishing honorable things.  We need to understand that simple things like motherhood, faithful and decent fathers, honesty, loyalty, refusal to compromise principle, steadfast endurance in faith, faithfulness in following Jesus – these are never “honored” by worldly people, but they are certainly honorable and rewarded by God, though usually not in this life.  We should also remember that when worldly dynamics enter the life of the church, like the bestowing of honors, it is difficult to keep the corruption and perversion out.  There is little more saddening than to have to observe the honoring of fools even within the church!

This wise observation of the author does not change the sinful unreality that we live within in this fallen and darkened world of sin.  All of this makes us grateful for God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, and all the more eager for the imposition of reality in the life which is to come.  So we take care in giving “respect to whom respect is owed” and “honor to whom honor is owed” – but we also remember that “honor is not fitting for a fool.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, You went without earthly honor in Your time of ministry and in earning redemption and salvation for us.  Remind us that all good comes from You, that all honor belongs to You.  Help us to be discerning about earthly honor – to give it where it is due, and to endure when it is given to fools.  Keep us firm in following You, denying ourselves, and taking up our crosses.  Amen.