Guard Who We Honor

Yael Eckstein  |  July 1, 2022

Five soldiers facing the Western Wall praying.

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.
—Proverbs 26:1

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

As a mother, I pay close attention to how my children consume media. Today, with smartphones, the internet, social media, and so many ways that kids — and adults — consume entertainment, we need to be on guard at all times.

I am especially on the lookout for when my kids become “fans” of this or that entertainer or influencer. I always tell them that it’s okay to be entertained, but we must never turn these people into idols. Think about it — we even use the word “idol” to describe popular cultural figures.

Giving undo honor to people who are merely entertainers can be spiritually dangerous because who and what we honor speaks volumes about what we value most. We need to guard who we honor because the people who we honor become the people we want to be.

So I always remind my kids that while it’s okay to have fun and be entertained, we must remember that honor goes to God and to those heroes who represent what God wants us to be.

Guard Who We Honor

The Bible, in Proverbs 26:1, warns us against giving honor to foolish or worthless people, “Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.” The first phrase in the verse — “snow in summer” — teaches us that honoring foolish people or things is unnatural. It is undeserved.

Honor reflects value. To ascribe significant value to something that has none, or very little, is a sign that our perspective is flawed. Like snow in the summer, our view of things is inconsistent with reality and truth.

But beyond that, “rain in harvest” teaches us that honoring worthless and foolish people and things is destructive. Rain during the harvest destroys the crops. In the same way, giving honor to the wrong things is not neutral. It leads us down a path of skewed priorities that leads to destructive choices. It’s damaging.

We must be very careful and guard who — and what — we honor. We should view the honor we give as a precious resource that expresses what we value and who we want to be.

Your Turn:

Are there people or things that you honor that aren’t truly worthy of it? It’s okay to enjoy entertainment and have fun, but let’s remember that true honor is reserved for God.

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