In the book of Acts, the term “honourable women” is mentioned twice. The first mention is used in a negative situation, and the second mention is used in a positive situation. Acts 13:50 says:
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Acts 17:4, 12 says:
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Both mentions are an example of how women can use their influence and power for evil or for good.
1. Some devout and honourable women used their influence for evil; others used their influence for good. In Acts 13:50, the “devout and honourable women” who are mentioned were Jewish women. They were very influential in their city, but not for good reasons. When the Jewish leaders could not get rid of Paul and Barnabas on their own, they turned to these women for help. These devout and honourable women, together with the chief men of the city, were successful in dispelling the Apostles from the area where they lived.
When Paul and Silas went to another region, however, the “chief women” and the “honourable women” of that place used their influence to draw people to hear the Apostles’ Gospel message. The women who are mentioned in Acts 17:4, 12 were Greek. They themselves first believed and then others also believed.
God has given everyone some sort of influence. Fathers and mothers, teachers and coaches, athletes and mentors, sisters and brothers, and friends all exert influence on someone else. Why does God give us influence? One reason is so that we can come to know Him better, and in knowing Him better, others can also come to know Him. As believers in Jesus the Christ, we must make our influence felt. And we must make it felt for good, not evil.
Dwight L. Moody said, “God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine. Let no one say that he cannot shine because he has not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more because he was faithful and used what he had.”
Whatever influence you have, whether it be on one person or one hundred persons, use it – and use it for good.
Devout means to be totally committed to a cause or belief. Other words for devout include “devoted,” “dedicated,” or faithful. We are to be devout believers, fully devoted to God and to the work He has given us to do.
Honourable means bringing or worthy of honor. God is worthy of all honor, therefore our lives ought to be lived in a way that brings Him that honor. Let us pray to be and strive to live as devout and honourable women who use our influence to bring people to God, not away from Him.