Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Value of Honor

"For the love of distinction has all but flown away and pleasures are now considered more valuable than honor."
  - Manuel II Palaiologos, 1409, father of the last Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
     My brother shared this quote on his Facebook page a few weeks ago.  I am shamelessly borrowing it.  The words have made a lasting impression on me.  It's easy, at first, to point the finger at the culture at large and find fault by this standard.  My brother commented that he thinks it's perennially true.  Aren't we all sinners, in the mire, though we may see a better way right before us?
     I am doing the harder work and examining my own heart.  Do I love pleasure or do I love honor?  How do I think of my time while I drink my morning coffee?  What are my considerations after the kids are tucked in for the night?  What do I do with a wide open Saturday (like today), my only obligation the preparation of a Sunday School lesson?  Can you guess my answer?   I am a pleasure lover.  A glutton for pleasure. 
     I'm meditating on Proverbs 31, a woman of distinction indeed.
"'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.'  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."

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