The increasing rate at which people across different spaces are subjected to undignifying and horrible treatment has become alarming. Cases of mistreatment and condescending behavior toward people have become a thing in the global community, and one would think these are only incidences outside the church. Still, their values and systems have commonised Christians’ attitudes today for the different episodes of bitterness, degradation, and outright disrespect for people.
It has become a norm for persons to look down on those placed above them as leaders, including their parents, spiritual heads, bosses, etc. Worst off is the wave of insecurity that makes people uncomfortable celebrating and honoring people.
With all these ongoing, there are many questions to be answered as far as the subject matter of honor is concerned. First, there is what honor means and what it looks like. Then, there is the assessment of its relevance to individuals, the church, and the world. This is especially like the whole “No one cares about such things” ideology that is the order of the day only serves to make things worse.
All these questions, as well as other notes on the subject of honor, are going to be responded to in this write-up. So, let’s explore the principle of praise together.
The Concept of Honor
A direct definition of honor from the dictionary is recognizing the importance or value, respect, adoration of someone for being morally upright or successful. The word honor fundamentally suggests the conferring of worth and value if we infer from the scripture.
The kingdom of God is governed by many principles, one of which is honor. As children of God, who are partakers of his kingdom, this principle should guide us too.
Who Should You Honor?
The question of who to honor might seem a bit irrelevant. But, it is important to address this. So, let’s continue.
There is the basic principle of honoring those placed as leaders of us; those in authority; your parents, church leaders, mentors, bosses etc. Then, honor is given due to excellence in character and deed, and we accord them honor for people who have exceedingly well or outstanding things.
However, if we infer from what the simple narrative of honor implies–which is to bestow value and worth–we will understand that honor is much more encompassing. By this, we can boldly say that everyone deserves the honor.
A simple deduction from the pattern of Jesus will teach us to honor everyone. God, who is supposed to be our primary recipient of the honor, created all man in his image and likeness. Regardless of color, race, tribe, value system, or action, every man earns the basic right to honor by being human.
A classic example of this is seen in the gospel where Jesus went to dine in the house of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a man ostracized by the people of Jesus’ race. He was named a cheat, a sinner who should not be associated with. Yet, this was the very man Jesus honored.
It is necessary to point out that this does not invalidate the first and second categories of people to honor earlier started. There is a specific instruction in the Bible to honor those “ahead of us”.
Codes of Honor
To effectively practice honoring people, it is important to understand the principles relating to this subject, and these serve as a guide on what honoring entails.
- Every human being is an image-bearer of God and should be respected.
- God chose to honor man by creating man in his image. While on earth, Jesus honored men. It only works for us to place value and give honor to whatever God gives honor to if we genuinely claim to honor him.
- Selfishness makes honor difficult, if not impossible. It is necessary to learn to place others before us.
- Each person is unique. Understand individuality and celebrate talents and gifts that are distinct.
- Regard persons and highly esteem them with words, especially in their absence.
- Being open and trying to understand people’s stories makes it easier to honor them.
- Serving people is one way to honor them.
- Acknowledge what people have done and celebrate it.
- It is important to pray for those in place of authority over us.
- Carrying out acts of kindness and helping others in our environment achieve all they have been called to is a way of honoring them.
- Please keep to the things we say.
- Whatever we place value on, we will attract. So, celebrating persons who have done the things we hope to do is one way to open the doors to greater achievements. Etc.
Nature of a Honorer
Many things have to be in place for a person to be able to honor others genuinely. Some of these attributes will be discussed below:
- A certain level of knowledgeability is needed on the subject of honor for a person to be able to honor others.
- Since it is required of a person to honor people irrespective of what they do, only persons with self-control, people who can respond to persons in a particular way regardless of how they feel, can honor others.
- Humility is an integral part of honor. To be able to honor others, a person has to be humble.
- Honorers are persons who have a grasp of what matters. They are, therefore, not consumed by the quest for power and pleasures.
- They are people who value integrity, and they will not stoop so low as to flatter others just for their advantage.
The Rewards of Honor
Just as in the case of Zacchaeus, who became a changed man because of the kind of treatment he got from Jesus, honoring people have huge dividends.
- One outstanding honor reward is that the honorers grow to become people who express a higher level of maturity and are better equipped for excellence.
- The right heart posture is needed to honor people. Thereby making the principal one that serves as a heart checker.
- Honoring others makes them secure, leading them to become more trusting.
- People honored are encouraged to become a better version of themselves, just like Zacchaeus.
- Some things are reciprocal. One of them is an honor, and honoring others evokes honor to the honorer.
- People bless those who honor them, especially those placed in authority. There do not even have to be pronunciations of words for this to happen.
- The scripture specially attaches a blessing to those who honor their parents.
God has called us as his children to stand out in conduct. Believers are saddled with the responsibility of showing the beauty of God. One sure way to do this is to treat people with honor.