Cherry Tree: A Lesson In Honor

Obedience is an act of our will; but, honor is a response of the heart. More than anything, God wants our hearts.

My dad loves fruit trees. When I was just a boy, he planted several kinds: apple, pear, peach, cherry. My dad also had this nifty thing called a cherry picker.

A cherry picker looks remarkably like a 10-year-old boy who would much rather be playing baseball than scaling a cherry tree. (Trust me, I know.)

My parents are now elderly and my days of harvesting fruit are a distant memory. Recently, while visiting them I walked out to that old tree. I saw hundreds of cherries glistening in the sun. Memories came flooding in—my dad tending to his beloved trees, my mom canning the fruit.

The Bible says:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1, NIV)

As a boy, I picked those cherries out of obedience. But, on this visit, years later…it was different. I couldn’t wait to get at that tree. I plucked as many cherries as I could reach and then got a step ladder so I could reach even more.

You see, as a child I understood only obedience. But as an adult—as a grateful son—I understand honor. This cherry tree had meant so much to my parents and I wanted to honor that memory.

The Ten Commandments say:

“Honor your father and mother.” (Exodus 20:12, NIV)

Honor.

When something makes God’s Top Ten list, it’s pretty important.

God doesn’t simply want obedience. He commands honor. Obedience is an act of our will; but, honor is a response of the heart. More than anything, God wants our hearts.

My dad and mom enjoyed the cherries. We recalled funny stories. I felt so good inside. I wanted to honor my parents and honor God; the beauty is that I was the one who got blessed.

When is the last time you did something for no other reason than to honor another person? Why not today? Go out of your way to honor someone else. When you do that you will also honor The Father in Heaven, and you will radiate the love of Jesus.

And, I guarantee you that you will feel blessed.

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Author Rodney Brandt

Rodney Brandt is passionate about his Christian faith and helping others discover the life God has intended for them.

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