Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 13, 2011

a cupful of honor

Roses were the flower of choice this weekend. Restaurants and retailers alike enjoyed banner sales. Children prepared their valentine cards, and adults searched for a special card that most reflected their feelings. Love is in the air on this day every year. Thirty-six years ago I bought the first box of candy for my wife and started going steady (boy is that an old term) on this day. This year I was determined to get a meaningful gift that would reflect what she would enjoy. Through the years, my gifts and cards have not always appropriately reflected the way I wanted to honor her. To be honest, women are much better at cards and gifts. But the principle of Valentine’s Day is all about honoring those we love and care for deeply.

Romans 12:10(b)
Honor one another above yourselves.

Whether on Valentine’s Day or any other day, our goal should be the same. However noble it may seem, honoring others is never easy. To honor means that we are placing high value on another person. Intellectually, we all agree with honoring others by placing their needs above our own. In reality, our selfishness cries out for our own needs to be met above all else. It is certainly easier to focus on my needs before thinking about my wife, daughter and others. You probably feel the same. Valentine’s Day emphasizes once a year a principle that all followers of Christ can live out daily. Honoring one another above yourselves from Romans 12:10 doesn’t seem like just a request to me, but a command to be followed. What an opportunity!

Last week while traveling I was treated to an example of someone honoring another. After finishing an appointment, I was in search of coffee. I spoke to a nice lady who told me that there was none in that location, but she would get a cup for me. Little did I know she had to go to another building, and pay for the coffee! She practiced honoring me with no other motivation than a Christ-like spirit. We are all afforded opportunities on a daily basis to practice placing a high value on others. From my perspective, it takes a strong commitment to focus beyond our own needs.

Our ultimate example of honoring others is found in Christ. His life was lived for us. He left heaven’s glory to give His life for our sins. Mark 10:45 tells us that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” For all who are in Christ, His example is our pattern for honoring others.

Today is Valentine’s Day and the focus will be on our loved ones, but tomorrow there will be others that need a cup of coffee, a kind word, or someone just to show them care and love. Our challenge is to look for the opportunities, and then be conduits of His love.

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to let others know how much we care. I would like to think that you and I could live with the spirit of Valentine’s Day all year long. And not just by honoring (placing high value) those closest to us, but by reflecting the very heart of Christ to everyone we come in contact with. I was touched by a simple cup of coffee, and others will be touched when we choose to honor them. Enjoy today, and keep caring tomorrow!

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