“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me?” Malachi 1:6
My father, Earle Hewitt, passed away 15 years ago. He was born, married, became a father to my sister and me, and eventually died, all in the small town of Petersburgh, New York. His hallmark was his gentleness and genuine affection for others regardless of their position in life. Many continue to tell stories of how valued they felt in his presence, how much they benefitted from his wisdom. If I am my father’s daughter, how will others distinguish that apart from some striking physical similarities? Only if they see my father’s characteristics in me. When I am gentle, when I have genuine affection for others, I walk in his godly legacy and bring honor to my father.
Malachi was the mouthpiece to air God’s complaint. Yahweh had issues with Israel, His sons and daughters. They were living in such a way that other nations couldn’t tell whose children they were anymore. There was a disparity between who they claimed to be and how they conducted themselves. They were hypocrites; people without honor.
Just last week, an unsaved friend of our family announced that he would never entertain going to church because of the many hypocrites that made up most congregations. He’s right, of course. God’s children battle with their flesh and sometimes lose because we’re not home yet. A life of sin dishonors our Father and damages God’s credibility to unbelievers because we’re the only Jesus people see. The problem with people making this kind of judgement against God however, is that they make no differentiation between sinful people and a perfect Savior. While I can be a hypocrite, Jesus is not.
When I love my Heavenly Father and live in a way he’d be proud of, my life can’t help but reflect the Object of my affection. Whomever I love, I worship. Whomever I worship, I emulate without effort. If likeness is absent, then it is love that is lukewarm. How can warmth and fidelity be rekindled? By allowing God access and control to the parts of my soul yet untouched by divine love. Shame, anger, unbelief ~ these are a few of the catalysts that segment my heart into pieces. God wants to rule with grace over all of me. As I experience His love in places I once considered untouchable, in places that made others question my faith, my passion for Him will be rekindled. Worshiping without apology, walking in the Spirit, and honoring His name will be the result.
For the rest of today, I pray that others will be able to tell that You are my Father. Amen