Honor is somewhat of a buzz word in our culture – especially in the ministry world where I live. But I am not sure that I, along with most Americans, really grasp the concept of honor. Too often our idea of honor includes putting someone on a pedestal or, on the flip side, begrudgingly acknowledging someone’s position. Neither of those are honor.
When I think of people who honor others well, I think of the Japanese culture. In Japan, students are encouraged to work very hard in order to attend prestigious colleges that will bring honor to their families.
Honor seeks ways to build others up.
Businessmen who lead their companies into bankruptcy can be seen weeping as they apologize for bringing shame to their people.
Honor owns mistakes and seeks restoration.
Families live together, and the older generations are revered and honored for their wisdom and contributions during their lifetime.
Honor recognizes contribution.
How can I become better at showing honor to those around me? I think one of the ways I can do that right away is by acknowledging a few of the many, many people who have helped shape who I am today.
I did not grow up in a household where the children ruled the parents. And yet my parents, Dave and Irene, did everything they could to help my brother, sister, and I pursue our passions. I had a front seat to watching them pursue their passions, and that gave me the freedom to pursue mine. My parents are not perfect, but they model what it looks like to acknowledge their mistakes, apologize for them, and move forward. They show me consistently what Jesus looks like through their actions, attitude, and choices.
The way my husband shows me honor makes me desire to honor him back. He consistently encourages me to try new things, explore new places and ideas and even careers! He reminds me to slow down and breathe when I get carried away with life. He honors me by accepting me for who I am, but encouraging me to become better every day.
Then there are the people who have impacted my journey into ministry and leadership. Ann introduced me to serving with preschoolers. Jamie took a chance on me and allowed be to test out leading – it was under her leadership that I first desired to be in ministry myself. Ben invited me to lead a department (with no experience!) and learn how to lead through constant change. Jordan has always been my biggest cheerleader and modeled to me how to endorse someone at every opportunity. Pastor JR asked me first to become a part of his team, and continues to give me all the space and room I need to grow into what God has for me.
Honor is so much more than acknowledging the impact that people have made on your life. But it is the first step.