Honor is both the desire and the ability to recognize glory in others. Honoring people is humbling ourselves and seeing things through their eyes.
True humility is agreeing with what God says about you, nothing more, nothing less.
Anything other than this is not humility. It’s a subtle form of religious pride. For instance, you’re not being humble when you call yourself a dirty worm or say things like, “It’s not about little ol’ me, it’s all about Jesus.” You could be just trying to look humble out of your own sense of insecurity, so you feel the need to promote yourself this way. I wrote about what true humility is here.
This may mess with your theology but you are not God’s servant; you are a royal son/daughter of His everlasting Kingdom. You cannot honor God by acting like a slave because a slave does not know what His master is doing (John 15:15). They are not part of the family, nor are they inheritors of the father’s business. But a son is both. A son knows his father’s heart and humbly, yet confidently, represents his will in his kingdom.
We are God’s son and daughters, co-heirs with Christ, and servants to mankind.
So there is a sense in which we serve God, but only in that we do His will to serve our fellow man.
True humility is totally agreeing with your new nature and denying everything about your old nature.
True humility leads to honor.
We see Jesus modeling this Kingdom value in Philippians 2:5-9. He didn’t deny His true identity, nor did He put Himself down. He was not a slave to God; He was His Son. But He was called a servant because He selflessly served mankind. He did this by choosing to lower Himself to our lowest state so He could identify with us in every degree. And because of this ultimate expression of humility, His Father highly exalted Him above all.
Jesus set the Kingdom standard for us as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. I like the way the Mirror Bible makes this much more clear (bold-type added):
“2:5 The way Jesus saw Himself is the only valid way to see yourself! 2:6 His being God equal in form and likeness was official; His sonship did not steal the limelight from His Father! Neither did His humanity distract from the deity of God!
2:7 His mission however, was not to prove His deity but to embrace our humanity. Emptied of His reputation as God, He fully embraced our physical human form; born in our resemblance He identified Himself as a servant of the human race. His love enslaved Him to us!
2:8 And so we have the drama of the cross in context: the man Jesus Christ who is fully God, becomes fully man to the extent of willingly dying humanity’s death at the hands of His own creation. He embraced the curse and shame of the lowest kind in dying a criminal’s death.
2:9 From this place of utter humiliation, God exalted Him to the highest rank. God graced Jesus with the Name that is far above as well as equally representative of every other name.” (Phil.2:5-9 Mirror)
Here’s what Paul Manwaring said about this in his book, What On Earth is Glory?:
“But in order to receive the full measure of grace needed by sinners, Christ had to identify with us completely. To identify with those dead in sin, He had to die. And because He identified with us fully, His death became our death. As Paul said, “…one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5:14). At the cross, we were no longer dead in our sin; we were dead in Christ. And because we died with Him, we rose with Him when His Father raised Him from the dead:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Christ went from the lowest place of humility to the highest place of honor, and He took us with Him by the power of grace. He elevated us to the position we were created to hold as the glorious sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords.” (p.117)
A son doesn’t need to compete, criticize, or tear other people down in order to be significant. Sons know who they are, and who they’re not, and they work from a place of rest in their Father’s embrace.
Beloved child of God, do you know who you are in Christ, or are you living under a false slave identity, groping in the dark in a futile attempt to please God? We only please God by faith (Heb.11:6), and that faith is demonstrated when we believe what God says about us.
When we finally see our true identity in Him, we will finally see each other. And when we see each other rightly, from a new creation viewpoint (2 Cor.5:16-17), we will both “desire and recognize glory in others” too. This is what honor looks like. This is how the Kingdom of God operates. This is how we glorify God. And when you humbly honor others, you can be certain that God will do the same for you at the right time (1 Pet.5:4-6).