1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul was correcting the Church at Corinth about sexual immorality and one situation he heard of, a man with his father’s wife. Paul instructs the church to discipline this man by removing him from the church so that he had a chance to be saved from his sin.
Then Paul gives a verse that believers quote and memorize, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” However, we may be inclined to read over the “Your boasting is not good” that comes before this. What is Paul’s deal here? The church is probably growing; it is an exciting place to gather on Sunday, what is the deal? Paul is correcting the whole church leadership about one guy who decided to commit to what was not even allowed in the secular world around them.
I am not going to start writing about excommunication, but I would assume this person was part of the leadership, the boasting of the church in Corinth. Better yet, this correction was a message to the church to not concentrate on boasting of themselves, but all the more to be humble, because we can miss it. They had a lot of fleshy, lifestyle stuff to work out in their midst, and Paul was pushing for that to be their focus. Encouraging the people of the church is great, but boasting is a different thing entirely.
Now that I got that out of the way, I want to focus more on the leaven aspect. Here we get the leaven illustration, and this is not a sprinkle of yeast. This is a fermented piece of dough that gets rolled into the next batch of bread because it was left from some earlier batch. This was a standard aspect of bread making in those days, and no one would have been corrected for making bread this way. Paul is making a clear distinction between the world and the Kingdom of God here and I believe this was specifically targeting leaders in the church.
Should the Kingdom of God be sprinkled with the leaven of the world?
It is a tough question because we live in a culture that mixes secular with Christian living so seamlessly. We can easily get into discussions about whether something is a clear and cut sin and leave it there, but should we be having another conversation. Are believers living lives that invite anointing and favor? I can be straight and say Christian leaders should be living lives of purity, free from bondage of any kind.
Do our activities or choices have a little leaven in them? While our choice, in and of itself, may not have overt sin involved, did we make that choice because of the leaven left over from a sinful choice we made prior or those around us? We find the original law in Leviticus 18:1-5 and the reason for this and other laws of its kind was the heart of God, that His people would be different from those who were not His people. The heart of New Testament grace is still the same, are we different from those who do not walk as Christians? Sure, all things are permissible that are not overtly sin, but it is not always good for you or the Kingdom. (1 Cor. 10:30) Overt sin is rarely something that just happens at the moment; it is the product of the creeping in of leaven (tainted life) that slowly eradicates our discernment.
What separates us from the world around us is most precious, and it is the main tool that God uses, outside of His Word, to chase after the hurting and broken. The short answer is that no leaven, as Paul describes it, will be mixed into the Kingdom of God in the finality of it all. God loves us so much, He extends so much grace to us, but let’s pursue the things that are most advantageous to us as followers of Jesus.
Any thoughts to add? Want to hear what you think on the subject.
This morning, I had a reckoning moment with God. Even better, God had one with me. I was reading from 1 Samuel 25:12-27 as part of my reading plan and I actually thought it was simple and boring and that I would just get more out of my New Testament reading… I was wrong. I just got back from a wonderful vacation and with Easter and so many things coming down for us at once, I was overcome with an anxiety I was not comfortable with. I immediately went to prayer and I was reminded to pray for my best friend who is in a physical struggle that I can only understand at the surface. God prompted me to re-read 1 Samuel 25:12-27 and so I did just that.
When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal[c] is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord.
- God is in control
Even when we think something is too hard or if we are the victims of some kind of evil, we must come to grips with the truth that God is in control. God is not surprised with your issue and this may create larger questions and issues for you regarding God, but this is the truth.
- You must get on your face (humility) before you can be free
Abigail came to the king (David) and interceded for her foolish husband. She and everyone in her family and property were spared, the king thanked her in the process, and later God took care of Nabal instead of human intervention.
- Interceding for others includes those that hurt you
This was my toughest hurdle, technically, I am still mid-jump over this one. I had the tendency to walk around praying and shouting for God to save others from the same hurt and to shut down the one who hurt me. I thought I had forgiven when I simply overlooked the pain in my own power. God showed me clearly that I would know when I was healed… when I could come to the King of Kings, much like Abigail, and offer a gift and beg for the very life of the one who hurt me. God was showing me that for years, but for some reason the phone was connected this time, I heard the message clearly.
- Your healing comes at the expense of you
Let me explain, I have to give up my right to be right. I have to give up my need to have a reason for why something happened to me. When I can be joyful simply because God is walking and talking with me, my freedom is at hand. It is good to claim the promises of God and to come to His throne boldly, but may we never misinterpret this boldness. Our boldest moments come when we are empty of our own agendas and we simply bless God and others. Abigail had every right to let David kill as planned, technically she could have asked for shelter and protection, but instead she honored the king with her humility and wisdom.
Victory comes with humility, wisdom and love, but you are not the one who brings it. God brings your victory and when we usher in our own victories, we soon learn that they are short-lived and become bondage in our spiritual lives. True spiritual victory never binds, it frees.
When you read Galatians 5:22-23, you read about the fruits of the Spirit. Ever wonder why Bible translations never use the word nice or niceness? How about when you correct your child who is being selfish or mean-spirited with another child, do we use the word nice or kind? I thought it was genius of the snack bar (notice: it is not a health bar) KIND to put an ad out distinguishing between kind and nice.
In 15 seconds, KIND tells you the difference between NICE and KIND. Nice tells you what you want to hear and Kind is honest. Simple definition and I always live by the John Stott quote:
Our love grows soft if it is not strengthened by truth, and our truth grows hard if it is not softened by love.
Kindness is so much more than just one word; it is a character trait that is developed in us by the Holy Spirit. Kindness takes the love and truth and presents it to another person in communicable fashion. I used to tell my children, ” Now that was not nice! Go apologize.” This may be just fine and I am not saying we should never say the word nice, but I now go for words and teaching moments that matter the most.
If I were to define the word “nice,” I would say it is the first level of appropriateness that uses the least amount of your time, money and resources to save the status quo. I know, a bit complex and harsh, but think about how we use the word. Someone leaves us a Facebook birthday message, that was nice. Someone holds the door open for you, that was nice. You drop a paper or item on the floor, and the person next you picks it up for you, that was nice. You get an envelope with $1,500 cash and a note that says “God told me to do it,” that’s nice? No, that was kindness and goodness combined. It’s like the word “love,” we misuse it often. I love my wife, I love my children, I love Jesus. Do I then love sushi? ( I do like it with a certain passion)
I am not sure if I am amazed by the word kind and what it means or by the fact that I was edified by an advertisement intended to do sales.
There is a vast amount of chatter on the internet about generational gaps and specifically about millennials and the workplace. Studies show a revealing pattern in each generation on how they are motivated. These are generalizations and not scientific statements or even meant to be a comprehensive summarization. These are observations I make from my experience in ministry and the workplace. I also started at Boomers, simply because of the current workforce and to expose a first level of generational differences. Each generation has a set of core values and motivators that are not necessarily wrong or right, but they exist.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) went to work for long hours, did what they were told, respected authority, played politics well and stayed in their respective careers for a long time. This generation saw the first major rise in divorce, infidelity and the single parent home. They raised kids by passive example versus a hands-on approach (again, generalization), showing what it meant to work hard, ignore struggles and keep busy.
Generation X (1965-1976) was a product of the Baby Boomers (0f course). Gen Xers are much more educated than previous generations; they value their use of time over any other workplace ethic, and responsible for the shrinking of the population since having 1.4 kids per family belongs to them. They saw the pains of the Boomers who worked hard to get them a better life; they lacked quality time with parents. The correction was to make the workplace more efficient, create systems for faster and better response and motivated by time and performance. A Boomer sees performance as working (money and quantity), a Gen Xer sees performance in terms of success (money, time and quality). They raised kids with the approach of “everyone is a winner” and handed out trophies for just showing up. They spent time with their kids, fighting hard to increase education standards and made their kids feel special.
The Millenial generation or Gen Y (1977-1995) was a product of both Boomers and Gen X. Generations are changing faster now due to technological advancement. They grew up with much of life being taken care of for them, and they grew up faster because of TV, the internet and mobile devices. Parents no longer were the primary influence in the life of a child but the mix of teachers, online sources and TV took over the authority. Creativity is hard to assess, but millennials thrive in this arena. Since they got a trophy for just showing up, they have a sense of entitlement built into their lifestyles. This entitlement is not their fault as much as it is a product of overcorrections by Gen Xers. They are motivated by purpose and impact more than time, money, or quantity of performance. They now make up the largest portion of the workforce in the United Sates.
Boomers and Gen Xers get frustrated with Millenials because they often misunderstand them. No given generation is lost in some way simply because they are different than the previous. Yet workplace discussions, seminar lobbies, and forums online are filled with nostalgia of how it was done, and now it is all going downhill.
Gen Z or Centennials (1996 and forward) are product of Gen X and Millennials and are inundated with media and trends. They find value in causes, have little patience for rules that have no meaning, live life based on emotional investment. There is still ongoing research on how they will impact the workplace and family, but there is a push for organic community.
I am a millennial by definition, but I can relate to Gen Xers as well. A millennial does not do something just because someone said it is to be done. They do something because it means something, that the systems, tasks and processes are not only tested but constantly tested and improved. Gen Xers want to know their calendar is being valued and not just having meetings because that is the way it is done. They want to know that both Boomers and Millennials respect them as a person. Millennials want to know that you connect with their emotional quotient and that they are setup to make an impact.
I watched this great video at the bottom of my post, and it challenged me as a leader and supervisor. We can complain about other generations and what is lacking, or we can become better leaders by taking the time to understand the intersections that are involved in generational leadership.
I am a Getting Things Done kind of guy and for those who understand what that means, good. For others, Getting Things Done (GTD) is not just a mentality or attitude we possess, it is an efficiency system of task management and life management that was first pioneered by David Allen. His book is fantastic and can get you started re-thinking your life management, but he has a shorter, quick overview ebook as well.
In a nutshell, you get used to making lists in life that include the following:
- Next Actions
- Waiting For
- Maybe or Someday
The idea is this, stop holding all those ideas, tasks, pictures and creativity in your head waiting for them to happen or for you to recall them when the time is right. The first rule, write down everything. Like a reporter carrying around a notepad, have an app on your phone, notebook, etc. and just write it down. Second, place it in one of these list headers I listed above. Third, do a mind sweep at the end of the day, every day and put these ideas into proper categories and lists. What this simple practice does is free your mind to be anxiety free, and not always functioning at near capacity. You can trust that the idea is where it needs to be.
Now that was the shortest GTD system lesson ever, but my real goal in this post is to recommend some digital and analog resources for a GTD system. If you are the type that needs the old pen and pad the GTD system may be a bit cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it, efficiency is around the corner. The problem is that I have not found one particular planner that works for the system entirely. So for my analog buddies I recommend the following:
Analog Only: Moleskin Classic Notebook and Self Journal
So I would write all my inbox, maybe and waiting for stuff in the Moleskin Notebook much like a chronological journal and then daily use the Self Journal for Someday, Next Actions, and Projects. The Self Journal forces you to work in 13-week increments with goal setting in mind so you can be aggressive about your Somedays and not put them off.
What I Do: Nozbe, Moleskin, Evernote, and Self Journal
That being said, I end up coming back to digital as my main avenue of task management and do a combo of digital and analog. So this is how I do it currently. I use Nozbe as my digital inbox, next actions, and Projects (tasks). I use a Moleskin Cahier Journal for analog inbox and notes when typing is not an option. I then use Evernote for everything else including a journal. Evernote syncs with all your devices as does Nozbe, so forgetting a pad somewhere is no longer debilitating.
The point is to get everything out of your brain, consuming time and energy, and freeing you up to focus on the moment. Now go ahead and
Get Things Done!
The subject of living in freedom could not be covered in a simple blog post, but I wanted to continue from my post about shame yesterday. We have two choices to respond from, shame or freedom. The gospel is freedom and Jesus portrayed living in freedom best. Have you ever felt you had two choices when making a decision, but one was so far out of reach because of your circumstances or relationships? Freedom affords us choices, shame affords us a single choice and eventually shame will cover the presence of freedom, as if it were not available.
Our response to the call of God is a great example of living in freedom. For instance, Moses, was called back to deliver the Jewish people out of the hands of Egypt. When he was confronted by the burning bush and found out it was God, here was his response:
Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:10-11 ESV
Moses was quick to identify himself before the Lord in verse 4, but he then proceeded to question and delay the proper response to God not just once, but four times. He asked God to send someone else and shame has that effect on us. We tell God that it cannot be us He would use, but it must be someone else who is more prepared, more outgoing, better dressed, has more money, and it goes on.
So what does a freedom response look like? Jesus was a pure example of freedom, but there are two instances we can be encouraged by. First, Jesus defended the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11, and from what we know, the woman was clearly adulterous. When Jesus was tested by the crowd and religious leaders about what should have been done, Jesus responded in freedom. You see, freedom is not concerned with just your own welfare, it is concerned about others just as much. Our concern for others should be Christ-like, not performance-driven, trying to win the hearts of men with your decisions and actions. Jesus wrote something on the ground with his finger twice and challenged anyone without sin to cast the first stone. Everyone left and Jesus challenged the woman to “go and sin no more.”
Freedom allows you and I to see the pain or indecision of another and give them encouragement and grace. It allows us to have a Jesus-like response in the face of accusation and hostility. Jesus gave us another great example in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was going to die on a cross and he knew the coming future all too well. When faced with the stress of the cross, Jesus said this:
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” – Luke 22:42
That is a prayer of freedom. Freedom is not the ability to make whatever decision you want despite the consequences to you or others. Freedom is the ability to make the right decision free from shame and clouded judgment. Freedom is us truly identifying with Christ and being free from the shackles that sin puts us in. Shame reminds us that we are sinners with no hope, freedom proclaims that Jesus is risen and at the right hand God, interceding for us before the Father. (Romans 8:34)
Not every Christian is free from shame, most of us will struggle with it in some capacity from time to time. Our freedom is promised and your relationship with Jesus affords it to you.
I read a book some years ago called Free Yourself Be Yourself by Alan D. Wright when I first came on staff at Christian Life Center. At first, the title made me a little squeamish because I am not into touchy feely books or content, or that is what I tell myself. The freedom I experienced after reading that book were quite amazing and applying the principles to my life became a pursuit over the last two years. Shame is crippling and, like me, many of us would never think that we filter our entire lives around shame.
Most of the time, the word shame is saved for altar calls, or part of some incredible testimony of deliverance from addictions, freedom from sexual abuse, etc. However, most people suffer from some grip that shame has on them.
Shame Is Contagious
Much like a virus, shame spreads easily and is passed down within the family unit, workplace, education system and even the church. The only way to stop the spread is the gospel because shame is a primary product of separation from God. It started in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve hid together instead of running to God.
Shame Is Motivational
Let’s face it; we can react to things in one of two ways: in freedom or shame. For instance, your child spills his plate while standing in line at a church potluck and it lands on someone in front of him. As a parent, you have one of two filters to respond through. You could shame your child and take a public discipline approach making sure the adult the child spilled on feels like the punishment fit the crime and show how embarrassed you are. Or, you could politely apologize or hint to your child to apologize and then work together to clean it up and comfort the child that is was an accident and offer kind assistance or payment for the outfit cleaning of the spill victim. Shame motivates behavior, response, and emotions.
Shame Damages Relationships
In my spill illustration, if the child is shamed publicly, the effect is damaging. I am not saying that children do not need correction or discipline, they need it and it is biblical, in a loving and graceful manner that has restoration in mind. This is not a post about discipline, but about the shame filter. When you create an atmosphere in a relationship that is motivated by shame, both parties fall victim to the shame filter. I remember as a child that if my father, grandfather, uncle approached me in anger, I would flinch or cower. My parents or family never abused me physically or even emotionally, but I knew that anger meant there was only one last place to go to. I deserved a butt whooping as a kid, but the point is we do not have to verbally teach our children to learn shame responses, it is built into us because of our sin nature.
Shame Deflects or Absorbs
You need to read the book I mentioned to get a full picture of the shame we often live with. For those that may seem confident in life: shame causes us to live in self-preservation mode, and we defend our position to a fault, alienating relationships, forcing our authority where it was not needed. For those who lack confidence: shame causes you to retreat, to accept incoming abuse as deserved and to settle for less. Get two people who react in shame, and you have a full-blown battle of deflection. If a wife is verbally shaming her husband all the time and the husband just takes it because that’s the way it is, it is unhealthy, and both have a shame reaction. The wife is the active ingredient, and the husband is the catalyst, coming together to form a creation of bondage. Shame is often associated with the one taking the abuse or garbage, but the one giving it is living in shame just as much. I even wrote that illustration as an example of the shame that readers may even react with. You may have thought, “Why did he choose the wife as the aggressive one.” and I would answer in freedom, “because it’s my illustration.”
Shame Is Not Leadership
I am still learning this point in my life. I remember growing up, and coaches, teachers, pastors and leaders would often use public humiliation and shame to lead people. Words like, “You embarrass me” or “If it were me, I would have done it differently,” “Are you stupid” and the list goes on. When we lead from a position of shame, we are coming from a position of weakness that only elevates you once someone else is down. When we lead from freedom, we come from a position of strength that pulls people up with us. I find that leaders who are overprotective of their churches, ministries, departments, etc. are often dealing with shame in some way. Jesus never told his disciples to make disciples and then bring them back to the church in Jerusalem since that is the only church approved by God. No, Jesus gave them a systematic approach to spreading all over the world. Shame tells us that if someone speaks better or has more people under them, that we should talk bad about them, find faults and warn everyone how much better you are. Eventually, shame takes us from protection to isolation, to destruction. Let’s lead from freedom, the freedom that Christ gives us.
I will write about the freedom side of the battle tomorrow, but I would challenge anyone who has not read the book, to do so, you will benefit greatly. Also, take some alone time and reflect on how shame has influenced your choices, your life, etc. There is hope, and that hope is Jesus.
Get the Book Here – https://www.amazon.com/Free-Yourself-Be-Power-Escape/dp/1601422768
Our staple as a couple for the last 14 years has been the weekly date night. The principle of setting aside time for your spouse could be done in different ways than we chose, of course. Here are the reasons behind our choosing to fight for weekly date night and why encourage others to consider it:
- It supports communication without distraction
There is nothing better than having a deep discussion about life with your spouse when a child busts into the room. You each become the focus of the time you are spending together and sets the stage for growth.
- It places tangible value in my spouse
Whether you decide to go to a fancy dinner, a simple walk in the park, or any other dedicated activity, your time and effort places value in your spouse. It feeds the confidence in your relationship.
- Gets my wife out of the house
The fact is, my wife homeschools our children and spends every day working hard at home. She needs time to leave it all and recharge with an adult conversation with no familiar voices in the air.
- Gives my children security
My wife and I were a family unit before our children ever came into the world. Our children are welcome members of our family and will always be, but they need to know that my wife is the first relationship to be nurtured. My children have confidence that Mom and Dad are good, so all is good in the world. Of course, date night is not the best or only method to bring marriage security to your children.
A date night is a set time aside with no distractions for you and your spouse. A date night is not a double or group date with other couples. Those are great, but not a date night. My wife and I will bring some ideas about Date Nights next week.
One of my favorite topics to discuss, teach and learn is task management. However, I only use that phrase because life management has not caught on as a buzzword. First off, the idea of task management is a compartmentalization that is far too funneled down. Simply put, one must learn to manage their life so that task management would even make sense.
I remember working with certain individuals and introducing the company or church software we use to manage tasks and day to day operations. For myself, it is simple and makes life less complicated, but for some others, it is their worst nightmare. Some people like the old ink and pad, some digital and others like to live so free that they try to keep it all in the head. For the professional, the old noggin is not recommended.
Whether I have been called in as a friend over coffee or paid to consult a corporate department, the issues that arise in task management all boil down to some simple causes. The fact is that your department, family, church staff, etc., are made up of people, and people are complicated. If real leadership was merely creating duplicates of yourself, the 80’s corporate mentality would still be strong and active. Now, if you do not have an espresso machine, 23 stage water cooler, and pizza Fridays, your staff will be distracted from accomplishing the goal. While I would love to solve that issue, I digress. In my experience, here are some common problems that arise with Task Management.
Dictatorship vs. Coaching
We can chat about the good old days, where the boss says “jump” and all the employees say, “how high,” but that would be ineffective today. Whether you understand millennials or not, they have changed the landscape of the workplace, including the church. So when you are trying to run a department, company, or church with efficient task completion you have to keep in mind that you may have three generations involved at one given time. The systems available out there are not broken; usually, leadership is.
Done are the days of telling people what to do and then coming back at the deadline to collect your reward. Any coach (sports, life or other) would tell you that you should consider this method:
- You do, they watch
- You do, they help
- You help, they do
- You watch, they do
This method is nothing new, but we must consider the methods by which we lead people. I will write more about coaching versus dictating at another time. I bring this up because I have found this to be a major contributor to ineffective production on teams.
Duplication vs. Multiplication
Duplication is a serious problem on many ineffective teams. I would encourage you to read some books on multiplied intelligence; it will be worth your while. If you come into a room and it gets quiet, you ask for ideas, and you end up answering your own requests, or when you give your opinion, everyone else just starts to agree, you have a problem. The idea of little mini-me(s) running around our department, office, or church staff can be tempting at first, but you will soon realize that you are creating a dangerous co-dependency within the intelligence of your team. They will lack passion and drive; tasks will drop off and eventually it will effect the entire organization like a virus with no antidote.
Learn to multiply the intelligence in the room with each meeting. Listen more than you talk. Pat people on the back for a good idea and end meetings making the whole team understand that they did it together.
Life Management is Poor
Let’s face it, how can we expect to manage our work tasks efficiently when we are juggling the rest of life by the seat of our pants. Our nutrition, health, finances, marriages, family and friendships, and hobbies all affect our peace of mind. If your life is all out of order, but you expect that once you hit your work desk, that a well-oiled machine is about to begin, you have another thing coming. As a leader, you should look for opportunities to coach others, speak into the lives of those you lead.
In a corporate atmosphere, you may not be able to create Bible Study moments, but you can impact the lives of those under your supervision. First, manage your own life. Can you come to work knowing that you can focus on what you are getting paid to do and produce? Manage your life in a way that allows you to have a clear mind and heart and then coach your team to do the same.
Task Mangement is subservient to Life Management, get better at managing life and task completion will become much more efficient.
I was asked why certain posts had Daily Reading on them. These posts are based on my own personal time each morning, although it may be from days passed.
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21
This verse begins a heated debate that did not even exist 20 years ago in the mainstream Christian church. While I will carefully break down why homosexuality is a sin at another time, it is important to realize that all sin against God has a beginning. Futile thinking has a monopoly on secular society and I fear that we, the church, have become futile in our efforts to bring light to the darkness. Again, another topic for another day. This morning, I intend to simply provoke us to honor God and thank God and the importance of this position in our lives.
The Apostle Paul tells us the slippery slope possible when we do not honor God or thank him. Paul is not referring to a single individual here, but like any study, what applies to a group can often be boiled down to individuals. First, let’s break down thanks and honor. Honor is not a thing you do first thing in the morning and then go about your day; rather, it is a daily commitment to live your life in a way that reflects the love of Jesus. Honor is a loaded word and I think a quick biblical study will show how we truly honor God.
What Does It Mean To Honor God?
Verb: δοξάζω (daxazō) – to praise or glorify
It always means “to have or to give a share in”. 1 Plain and simple, to honor God is that He has or has been given a share in your life. This is not just words we express or a confession, but an active lifestyle that God would be honored by. So while it seems that Paul may be saying the futile thinking came because they did not thank God each morning and then honor him when we scored a touchdown by pointing up, it is deeper than that. It really describes the relationship aspect, and this small word study should then be attributed to our other relationships that call for honor (parents, spouse, children, leaders, etc.)
Daily Challenge: Wake up every morning, thanking God and setting a course for honoring (give it to Him, sharing with Him in it) Him throughout your day.
1 Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 253.