The principal Hebrew word for “honor” literally means “heaviness.” A person who is honored is regarded as being weighty or as amounting to something. The same Hebrew word is also often translated in the Scriptures as “glory,” which further indicates the high regard shown to the one being honored. (Gen. 45:13) The Greek word translated “honor” in the Bible conveys the sense of esteem, value, preciousness. (Luke 14:10) Yes, those we honor are precious, valuable to us.
What is involved in honoring others? It starts with respect. In fact, the words “honor” and “respect” are often used together because they are closely related. Honor is the manifestation, or outward demonstration, of respect. In other words, respect refers primarily to how we view our brother while honor refers to how we treat our brother.
How can a Christian show genuine honor to fellow believers if he does not have heartfelt respect for them? (3 John 9, 10) Just as a plant can flourish and last only if it is rooted in good soil, so honor can be genuine and lasting only if it is rooted in heartfelt respect. Since insincere honor does not grow out of genuine respect, it will wither sooner or later. No wonder, therefore, that Paul preceded his admonition to show honor with the clear-cut statement: “Let your love be without hypocrisy.”—Rom. 12:9; read 1 Peter