It was a long walk to the House of Honor. In the middle of wide-open spaces was a beautiful house. I planned to have a great day. I had walked in earlier out of the rain and sat down. There before me was a poem beside a cup of tea and I read it…
When the sun goes down
On your dreams and desires
When you have no place to go
Come and sit by the fire
Take some food
From the plates set out for you
Take some tea
And sip till the dew
Covers the grass in the morning
Come to the House of Honor
And there by the window
Looking out on pastures green
You will have treasure
Like nothing you have seen
You will have words of wisdom
And kindness too
You will have thoughts so pleasant
Reserved just for you
In the House of Honor
People live in places in their mind
Where humiliation you always find
People live in the rain and the cold
And even till they are very old
They may never come to the House of Honor
There are wonderful treasures
Waiting for you
So simple, so grand of a plan
Waiting for you
In the House of Honor
In the Emerald glen
Stands a house alone
Almost empty so often
The House of Honor
There the seeds are sown
Of lovingkindness and faithfulness
Of loyalty and loveliness
No matter what your name or place
No matter what your fame or race
No matter what your state of mind
Or whether you’re poor or wretched or blind
There is a place for you
In the House of Honor
And so there I was in the house the poem talked about. A fire raged in the hearth, and the aroma of good food filled the room. The dining table was nearby and decorated with white china, candles, and flowers. I sat back in the easy chair, really enjoying myself.
The fire crackled and I heard someone from the kitchen say, “It’s ready now, you may as well sit down to eat.”
I got up and sat down at the table. The kitchen help brought the food out. It was wonderful. The emerald green outside was slightly iced on the edges of all the leaves from the cold rain. The warm fire and the incredible meal that was now before me made me feel very good indeed.
The kitchen help all sat down with me and I started to chat with them. But there was an empty chair, opposite of me. I asked about that chair. They all just looked at each other and didn’t say anything.
But soon my question was answered in a way I didn’t expect. The “Mystery Guest” walked out and I almost fell out of my chair. “What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Same as you. I have just as much right to be here as you do.”
“This is the House of Honor, a place where I can get away from you for awhile and enjoy myself,” I said angrily.
“Why don’t you like me?” the Mystery Guest asked.
I became very uncomfortable. I didn’t answer.
“When you look into the mirror and see me, why don’t you like me? You came to the House of Honor, and yet you refuse to honor yourself.”
I looked away. I couldn’t bear to look at him. I came here to be distracted, to hear good things, to make some new friends – not to see myself across the table.
The others were polite to the Mystery Guest, but I wasn’t. He was a grave disappointment to me – a person that didn’t look the way I wanted. He had done some awful things, which I didn’t want to think about, and I wanted to see as little of him as possible.
“Would you please get out of here?” I asked.
“No – I guess you just can’t get rid of your shadow. No matter where you go, no matter how you try to hide me, I’m there. You can go anywhere, but you can’t go anywhere without your shadow.”
One of the kitchen help stood up and said, “Whatever things are honorable, think upon these things.”
The Mystery Guest – my shadow as he called himself said, “Yes, I agree – what is honorable about me?”
“Nothing,” I said.
Another one of the kitchen help stood up and said, “Whatever things are worthy of praise, think upon these things.”
“Uh – Uh” I resisted.
Then another one of the kitchen help rose up and spoke very softly, “Whatever is good, beautiful, kind, and if there is anything good, think on these things.”
I looked at the Mystery Guest. He was sad, and crying. “All I have heard from you all my life is bad, bad, bad. I’m stupid, dumb, can’t do anything right, late all the time, not attractive, not – fill in the blank – and I’m so discouraged.”
I was angry and said, “I left you behind, and came to a place I thought would have no mirrors, no reminders of you, and beautiful people to tell me that I’m special and that I’m beautiful like they are. Get out.”
The Mystery Guest looked down, very sad. The others started leaving.
“Wait!” I protested, “Don’t leave me alone with myself.”
“This is the House of Honor. You must learn to honor yourself, and then we will honor you too. No one can help you with this – you have to forgive yourself, and see yourself in a way that is honorable.”
I refused. They all left, except for the Mystery Guest. The fire went out. The food became cold. I refused to eat. The mystery guest and I just sat there and looked down in misery.
I couldn’t forgive him. I couldn’t stand him. I refused to look at him. I didn’t like him. He was a failure.
I got up to leave. So did he. I warned him to leave me alone. I wanted to start a new life. Start over. Start fresh. I hated my past. I hated my life. I hated myself.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” I screamed.
As I stood at the door to leave, the Mystery Guest sat down again, staring at me through the tears.
I stepped outside, slowly closing the door behind me. I felt like I was carrying a million pounds on my heart.
But then I heard him say, “You can’t start over, but you can start over in the cross.”
I stopped. The rain was falling on my face, in my eyes, in my hair, and now mingling with my tears.
I stepped back inside and asked, “What did you say?”
“You can’t start over, but you can start over in the cross. Jesus paid for all the things you hate - that you are ashamed of, that you keep trying to forget. Jesus paid it all.”
I fell to my knees, sobbing. “Dear Jesus, thank you for taking the punishment, thank you, thank you that I can start over in the cross.”
This is why it was called the House of Honor. Jesus was dishonored, humiliated, and carried our shame, so we could now be honored.
“It is by undeserved favor that you are forgiven (saved), and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not because of your good deeds, so that no one can boast (before God).”
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that they might have eternal life through Him.”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
You can say this prayer at any time:
“Dear Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of all my mistakes, all my sin, and take all my past that I regret. Please come into my life, and help me to start over in the cross, where you died in my place and carried the shame that belonged to me. I want to start thinking of things that are pure, right, honorable, and anything worthy of praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”
“…I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.”
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me will not hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst… All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all those He has given Me I lose no one, but raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise them up on the last day.”
John 6:35, 37-40
“He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession (prays) for them.”
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, or depth, nor any other created thing can separate us from the love of God shown to us by Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The concept of “The House of Honor” is based upon Philippians 4:8 –
“…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell (think, concentrate) on these things.”
Are you living in a house of honor, or of shame? How do you talk about yourself and others? How did your parents talk to you?
God chose to love you. No conditions. It wasn’t love at first sight – He just chose to love you. He made a decision. He wants you to honor yourself, because He has paid for your mistakes and your guilt, and He has thrown your past into the sea of forgetfulness.
Learn to live in the House of Honor, where God has chosen to honor you.
Memorize the scriptures that talk about how much He loves you! You will start having an unexplainable peace and joy in your life! This might be very hard for you, but work at it! Reject the lies, the guilt, and the self-condemnation, and replace those lies with His truth!
Listen to your self-talk every day, and work on replacing lies with truth!