Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. – Romans 13:7
Here is something that is very difficult for me and I would imagine quite a few church leaders and leaders in general: receiving honor. As a preacher, worship leader, or church musician, sometimes you will receive praise, which I consider a form of giving honor. The truth is, people like acknowledging other people in whom God just revealed Himself by saying, “that really spoke to me,” “great job,” etc.
Now, what I have done because I have seen others do it in the past is give some sort of “humble” answer, “All glory goes to God!” The only problem I now have with this is how sometimes it comes off as condescending to the person who just wanted to thank you for being obedient. Sometimes, the person who was just honored by the other is now kind of chastising that person for what they have deemed an incorrect and inappropriate response. Sometimes, when I hear a preacher, leader or musician give an answer like this, it comes off to me as a false humility. It makes me wonder if they want even more praise and adulation for now being so humble. It also makes me wonder if the person who just simply gave a compliment now feels like they were corrected. It definitely makes me wonder exactly how I should or should not respond.
With that being said, and whether I am right or wrong about this, I am wondering what to do with honor that people give to me. The verse I used clearly says if honor is due; then give it. And it doesn’t say “to God,” so it suggests that there will be times when it will be appropriate to give honor to another person who is not God. In fact, the immediate context of this verse is the government, so be very careful what you say about our governing officials; especially the ones you don’t like, and especially if you call yourself a Christian.
“They lay down their crowns before the throne . . . “ Revelation 4:10
Here is what I’m going to do from now on. If someone honors me because of a song that was played, a lesson that was taught, a sermon that was preached, or whatever it is they are showing honor for, I’m going to say . . . wait for it . . .
Then, when I get alone with God, I’m going to say, “Lord, someone gave me something today that belongs to you. Without You, I would never have received this.”