Everyone needs wise others to speak into their life to sharpen, encourage, and inspire. My good friend, Collin, is one of those pivotal people for me. As we sat together last weekend, we found ourselves toying with current culture… what’s healthy… what’s not… how do we navigate through? Collin always encourages what’s better…
Let’s talk about honor. People mistake what it is.
While honor means to place value on or highly regard, honor is nothing short of humility in action.
When you’re honoring another it’s not that you are thinking less of yourself. Consistent with humility, it means thinking about yourself less. We should be outdoing one another in our intentional expressions of honor.
But there’s a huge challenge obstructing each of us.
The challenge is that we don’t live in a culture of honor. In fact, strikingly sadly, we live in a culture in which the manifestation of humility is not taught or encouraged.
No, we live in a culture of contempt… contempt!
We live in a culture that encourages us to see others not only as wrong — but as worthless.
Think about that for a minute. Worthless.
“A culture of contempt presents us with a false choice — that we have to choose between strong beliefs and close relationships,” writes Arthur Brooks, the Harvard professor.
We’ve set up this whole narrative of false choices, choices that allow us to see another person as worthless or actually deserving of our scorn. For example…
If you support Black Lives Matter, you hate cops. That’s a false choice.
If you take a knee during the National Anthem, you are anti-patriotic. Again, false choice.
If you are against taking a knee, you are anti-civil rights. False choice.
If you voted for _____, you must be _____. Fill in the blank with whoever/whatever you wish; it’s still a false choice.
A culture of contempt is sustained by a narrative of false choices.
When Ellen DeGeneres and former Pres. George W. Bush enjoyed an NFL game together a week ago — as discussed on the Intramuralist — the reason for the resulting social media outrage was the existence of this culture of contempt. A culture of honor instead allows for differences to thrive.
So why do we honor?
We honor because all men and women are created equal. We are crafted by our Creator. In other words, whether we realize it or not, God’s image and signature is on every person… on us… on everybody else… even when they don’t think, look or love like us.
How to we honor?
We honor intentionally. Are you purposeful about valuing and esteeming others around you?
We honor generously. Are you generous with your words? … resources, service, and affection? Do you ever intentionally withhold one, some, or all of the above because you think the other is undeserving? That’s not honor. And make no mistake about it; we cannot honor God when we are dishonoring the people he created. (Maybe read that sentence again.)
We also honor humbly. Are you willing to feel a little awkward to show honor to someone else? Remember: this is humility in action.
Oh, how much better our neighborhoods, workplaces, families and social media hangouts would be if we attempted to outdo each other with honor… if we contemplated what we said and how we said it … if we stopped slamming anyone on social media… if we stopped avoiding or not talking to… but instead engaged in honoring interactions… if we put humility in action.
It’s not going to happen until we decide to do it in our individual communities; it starts with you and me.
Who do each of us need to start honoring?