I heard the Lord say, ”Honour is the currency of the Kingdom.”

Several weeks ago, I was praying and out of the blue I heard the Lord say, “Honour is the currency of the Kingdom.”

I have been pondering this strange saying ever since.

The dictionary gives two main definitions for honour:
1. Personal integrity or allegiance to moral principles
2. Great respect, regard, esteem

Currency is not a very common word in normal usage but it is defined as something that is used as a medium of exchange; money.

In our society it is money or currency that makes it possible to trade goods and services with one another.

We work and get paid in dollars that make it possible to buy food, clothing, housing and services. We no longer expect to be paid in milk or pigs or whatever our employer produces. If that were the case we would spend most of our free time looking for people to trade our pigs for beer or roller skates or whatever it is that we want to buy.

Money makes it possible for our economy to function effectively.

In practice a stable currency doesn't just measure wealth and facilitate trade, it actually generates more money. It does this by making it possible to store wealth in a manner that does not decay, to invest in the hope of a greater return and to give people more time to be productive in the carrying out of their business.

In modern times we have increasingly moved away from paper and metal as measures of money to simply moving numbers in various computer accounts. We less commonly handle physical money and more often use credit and debit cards- and even the use of these has become more and more efficient over time with merchants directly connected to their bank processing transactions almost instantaneously. This of course means that when we engage in commercial activities we rarely have to physically enter a bank building to obtain cash or deposit it.

With this in mind then let's think about what it means to say “honour us the currency of the kingdom.”

Firstly it means that our worth in the kingdom of God is not measured by dollars as it is in the world. In God's kingdom, our worth is measured by our integrity, our adherence to God's values. Jesus said that if we want to be trusted with real wealth we first have to be able to be trusted with mere Mammon or money.

Pay your debts on time, spend and invest wisely and then you will rise in true wealth. If you are a person who can be trusted then God will entrust you with more.

People of the kingdom should be so known as people of integrity that different standards of honesty can be taken with them. For example I know of one christian builder who is known in the city where he lives that it is perfectly safe to do business with him, even in multi-million dollar deals, without any contract being drawn up because he does what he says and never tries to defraud people.

Just as technology has almost done away with the need for paper money, so honour remove the need for paper contracts and replace them with trust.

The other side to this comes from the other definition of honour, that is to esteem or respect one another. If I give you honour I express worth and value to you.

Pride tries to tell us that we are as good as anybody else, or better than anyone else. We build ourselves up and pull others down in the hope of making ourselves look better. We compare our strengths with the weaknesses of others and justify our weaknesses.

Jesus turns all this around by exalting and modelling humility. Real humility comes from having a realistic assessment of ourselves as being prone to sin just like anyone else. Real humility sees that I am a sinner saved by grace, just like everybody else.

In God's kingdom I see others as being people valued by God. If God places such a high value on them, then surely I must too.

In the natural economy, money transfers and increases wealth. In God's kingdom honour does the same thing. When I practice honour, I cause people to grow in their ability to trust God. A person might not believe that they are a giant of faith, but if I show them that I believe they are, they will rise to my expectation.

A person who is plagued with self-loathing and cannot express honour to others will start to realise that they don't have to measure themselves against others because God has placed immeasurable value on them. They will be encouraged to give respect to others and the total level of honour rises.

If honour truly is the currency of the Kingdom, then we need to find ways of investing in honour in the church. Unfortunately we have brought all the insecurity of the world and the pride of the flesh into our churches.

Too often churches that try to be “positive” just become cheerleaders for flattery which is empty and valueless.

Christian leaders need to start by loving their people from the heart. We need to see people in the same way that God does. We need to find ways of expressing respect and esteem and describing a future of hope and purpose for people. This has to come from the heart and be led by the Spirit.

I'm convinced that as we do this we will know the blessing of the King.