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Good Intentions

“...It (Love) does not dishonor others...”1

In 1998, Disney introduced this generation to Hua Mulan, a legendary Chinese folk heroine who risks bringing dishonor upon her family by dressing up as a man and taking her ill and aging father’s place in the army. During a time when young women brought honor to their families by marrying well, Mulan chose a path quite the opposite. Mulan’s intentions were honorable - wanting to save her father by serving in his place, a place that could only be occupied by a male member of the family; Mulan risked her father’s shame should she be discovered to be a woman. When Mulan is injured in battle, her secret is discovered, and dishonor does indeed threaten her family. However, Mulan’s honor is restored when she saves the life of the Chinese Emperor, and she is rewarded with an offer to serve as an officer in the Imperial army. Mulan is able to return home to her family with their honor intact, but she had laid quite a lot on the line in the process. Her actions, though done out of love for her father, would have caused dishonor on her family.

In the qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13, we find, in verse 5, that “Love does not dishonor others”. In the Old Testament we are told to “Honor your Father and Mother...” twice. And then, we are reminded to do so six more times in the New Testament. I think it is safe to say that God holds honor with much importance. Today’s verse shows it as an action of Love. There may be times when our intentions are good, but why risk disobeying the Lord’s command? Honoring others in love is always a better option!

Suggested Prayer:

Dear Lord, I desire to bring honor to you. Help me to honor others knowing that it will also bring honor to you. Allow me to be honorable out of love and not out of good intentions. Thank you for being merciful and teaching us your way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:5a (NIV).

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.