Vessels Unto Honor

I was somewhat amused by the  statement of a national politician when he exclaimed that he “pledged his sacred honor ” to the American people. I found this statement to be humorous because, from all reports, I was unaware that he had any honor at all, let alone an honor that was “sacred.” I guess the words “sacred honor” can be said by anyone. But what does it mean to have it? His statement got me to thinking about honor.  I spent some time looking up the words of past and present prophets. Honor can, of course, be something personal or given by others. I think “sacred” honor has more to do with how we honor God, our creator, and or, how and who earns His honor. I found some interesting words written by Paul, the apostle to Timothy on this last matter. I was struck by his metaphoric approach.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth (clay); and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel (body)unto honour, sanctified, and meet(useful)for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

In our home, my wife has all sorts of dishes. Some are what you might call “fine” and others of the “everyday” variety. Some of them are expensive and others are what you might call “cheap.”  In my house we have a lot of “cheap” dishes. But be they of the “inexpensive” variety or the more “elegant,” they both have a purpose. And when they fulfill that purpose, they are valuable. I think that what Paul was trying to communicate to Timothy was that it really doesn’t matter if you happen to be seen as a silver, gold, wood , or even clay vessel. You are honorable if your vessel is sanctified and useful to the Lord. To me, it’s another testimony that God is not a respecter of men. All those who seek him and live by his commandments will be sanctified and thus bring honor to the Lord, and to themselves.

I consider the most valuable cup I own to be a mug that sits in my office at home. In 1996 I bought the mug from the 7-11 next door to my then office. It has the Baltimore Ravens logo on one side and a stencil of a quarterback in the Ravens uniform on the other. The stencil is wearing off but the thermal mug is still cooling and warming my drinks. It’s been bringing “honor” to its vessel for over 20 years. The mug didn’t cost much, but I would never trade it for a more costly one. Why? It has served me well. Many of us may see ourselves as “mugs” or maybe as a Solo plastic cup, but in the eyes of the Lord, if we fulfill our calling and our duties in life, we become “vessels unto honor”. He in turn will bestow His sacred honor upon all those who honor him, no matter their station in this life.

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