Romans 12:10 - Who Are You Going to Honor?

Romans 12:10 contains an important command but it's not very popular with modern culture.

Romans 12:3 commands us to have a Reasonable View of Ourselves. This reasonable, honest, humble view of ourselves leads naturally to the command in Romans 12:10:

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” 

Our culture tells us that we must constantly honor ourselves so we can develop a high self-esteem, but Christians understand that a genuinely healthy self-image comes from esteeming God, not self. 

And when we esteem God, we have the wisdom, love, and character to honor others above ourselves. 

Does this mean that we become doormats, overlooking our needs and never fulfilling our desires? 

Of course not. 

A similar verse, Philippians 2:3-4, says: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” 

In the original Greek (and most English translations), this passage contains the word “also.” 

It’s not a command to place all of our needs and desires below the needs and desires of others. It’s a command to quit looking at things selfishly and consider the feelings, needs, and desires of others as well as our own.

If we can't honor others, we can't honor God. 
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Romans 12:10 contains an important command but it's not very popular with modern culture.
✔ When God tells us to honor others above ourselves, this does not delete His commands about family order. Popular self-esteem teachings claim we must constantly praise and honor our children to give them healthy self-esteem, but Scripture commands parents to nurture their children, not honor them (Ephesians 6:4). Nurture involves love, respect, discipline, correction, encouragement, etc.

✔ A number of studies prove that high self-esteem is a negative quality. Children with high self-esteem are not as godly and well-adjusted as children with a realistic view of themselves. We need to teach our children self-control and God-esteem. We need to teach them to honor others above themselves. See Research Shows Harms of High Self-Esteem and 6 Ways the Self-Esteem Movement Contradicts Scripture.

To read of 5 areas of submission or honor specifically addressed in Scripture, see We Need It: A Submissive Heart.

Sadly, many Christians are choosing the popular Boundaries teachings which encourage us to honor ourselves and "protect" ourselves from difficulties that refine our character and make us less selfish. 

Romans 12:10 contains an important command but it's not very popular with modern culture.

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