Honor that Brings Glory | \’Unstoppable Success,\’ #TeamUnstoppable


Kabed (כָּבַד) \"glorySD\"

In the Old Testament “honor” stands out as essential to what it means to be glorify God. The Hebrew term for “honor” is “kabed” (כָּבַד). The literal translation for kabed is “weighty” or “heavy.” Commonly, Hebrew words bear with them imagery. The image of “weightiness” or “heaviness” communicates a sense of importance. Even in our contemporary urban American world, we think of insignificance as “light weight.” The Urban Dictionary defines “light weight” in part as “an insulting term given to someone whose actions or opinions are of no consequence.”[i] Conversely, we think of “significance” when we think of “heavy.” When someone says something thoughtful or worth listening to, we say, “That’s heavy!” Therefore, the “heavy weight” versus “light weight” imagery bears upon our contemporary thinking of “worthiness” and “worthlessness.” Comparatively, kabed suggests that when we honor (kabed), we place the object of honor in high esteem. Kabed is that which is given to someone whose actions or opinions are of utmost significance (i.e. authorities, elderly, parents, and God).

Scripture teaches us that honoring God is only logical. Malachi 1:6 states, “’A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty.” God’s attitude towards divine dishonor is strongly felt in the rhetorical questions that Go poses in this passage. The question persists, “What does it mean, practically speaking, to honor or ‘place weight on God?’” Malachi 1:7ff suggests that esteeming God with honor means to give God your best.

Honor God with Our Worship

There are several ways to give God your best. In worship, we should offer the best sacrifice of praise to God. Hebrews 13:15 states, “Through [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Authentic worship must not be about us. It must be about Jesus. 1 Corinthians 11:1ff and 1Timothy 2:8ff teaches that human beings must de-center ourselves in worship. Women and men must de-center themselves in worship and focus on God.

Honor God with Our Wealth and Possessions

We must honor God with our wealth (all that we have). Proverbs 3:9 states, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” Esteeming God as important in our lives includes financial responsibility. When God is a priority, the practical application of that honor should be expressed in how we manage our wealth. We should strive to live within our means. Living above our means not only leads us into poverty but, also, dishonors God. When we become faithful stewards of our blessings, we bring more glory to God. Also, it means that we should make God a priority in charity giving. If it were not for God’s goodness and blessings, we would not have what we have in the first place. So then, the weight of our attention should be on God and not the things that we have.

Honor God with Our Bodies

Paul teaches Christians to honor God with our bodies. He says,  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). As temples of the Holy Spirit, we have God within us. We should ask ourselves, what should I do or refrain from doing when God is present? Should I abuse my body by engaging sexual activity with people that I am not married to? No! Should I abuse my body with gluttony– eating too much food? No! We must behave responsibly in sexuality, according to biblical teachings. Has it ever occurred to you that seeing a doctor regularly, eating healthily, moderate diets, exercising often and refraining from illegal drugs, smoking, and moderate drinking are expressions of honor to God? We must live faithfully, tending to our bodies with care.

Honor God in Decision-making

Furthermore, as life’s seasons change, seeking God for direction constitutes honoring God. Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Seeking God shows dependence on His wisdom. God’s wisdom is reserved for our benefit. Seeking God is the recognition that we need him in our pursuit of goals and ambitions. There is no true success without God. We need God to orchestrate our path and to confirm our destiny.

Honor God with Our Relationships

We must honor God in our relationships – dating or otherwise. My friend and student at Duke University School of Divinity, Wayne Credle, explains that dating that honors God is a relationship that begins and continues according to the Word of God. We honor in any relationship when we pray as to the type of relationship it should be, if any. Then, depending on the category of relationship, whether dating, working, friendship, etc., we should seek God in prayer. Then, see what scripture says about that form of relationship. In any case, respecting the other person(s) emerge as key in honoring God. We cannot say that we honor God and disrespect others.

Honoring God Means to Honor His Word

While there is much more to discuss on the issue of making Him a priority in our lives, I will close for now with this thought. What good is it to say that we love God and to even say that we honor Him but refuse to obey Him? At the end of the day, honoring God means to trust that God’s Word is true. The practical dimension of trusting God is to obey God in all things. We should not only make the idea of God a priority in our lives but the Word of God must also reign “heavy” (kabed) in the way that we worship and in the way that we live our lives. That’s where honoring God begins; that\’s where God get\’s glory!


[i] Urban Dictionary, “Light Weight.” No page number. Online Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lightweight (Accessed July 13, 2014)


Dr. Antipas L. Harris
Welcome to my blog

This blog site is where I share matters related to society, the church, and the academy. I hope my thoughts are meaningful to you. Theology

Read More »