To live a life of honour… to really do this, one needs to first understand where it began, where honour first shone. It was at the cross. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son.”
He so loves us, He so honours His most favoured creation, that He gave His son to die on the cross for our iniquities.
The bible commands us to love God and then love ourselves. It is works and works alone if we attempt to express honour to others when we have little to none for ourselves. Sheesh… heavy? No not really. These are things to settle. To celebrate who you are is not the same as thinking more highly of yourself than you ought. No. It is to give thanks and praise to Jesus for who He created you to be that pleases Him. Big time! It is an insult to the Creator or even false humility to consider yourself anything less than His perfect thought of you. Is He not kind? Has He not been lavishly generous in His love and honour of you? I say we give Him that same honour by practicing these first and second commandments with courage and intentionality. When we walk tall in our secure identities (who and Who’s we are), the most radical life awaits us.
The enemy loves to take us on in our marriages, our finances, our thought-life, our parenting and so on but his favourite card is to take us out in our identity. Everything God longs for us to thrive in is rooted in our identity. If I think less of myself, I am likely to struggle celebrating others. So it starts there. Honouring another has never been about comparing their ability against a personal standard of success. Honour, simply put, is the practice of celebrating the work being done in and through another’s life. My husband loves to say to people that “He honours the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives” and that just sits so deep and so well with me. It is just the most wonderful practice, honouring others. Championing your neighbour is something the world needs more of, and in the truckloads. I believe it starts in the church. We cannot fake it, at least not for long. There is a certain nicety that exists on the surface level in any church community and that is alright – it is the basic practice of showing kindness and making space for our differences that make the church a safe place. However, if we want the world to know that this runs far deeper in the heart of the believer, then those niceties need to be weighted with more. What will you give to demonstrate a life of honour? Perhaps your time, your words, your home, your finance? Honour is a verb. Will you courageously make space for others to shine brighter than you? Will you share the platform you’ve worked hard to arrive at? Will you ‘scooch’ over to make room for another to step forward?
Women in particular. There is this ugly thing called “the curse of comparison” that most women will face in their lives. It is a dark and slimy tactic of the enemy once again. If he can cause me to measure myself to others, I am sure to shrink back.
I truly believe that if more women would choose celebration over comparison, acceptance over judgment and a smile over a harsh word, we would be an army. We would be a force. We would be the right kind of contradiction to the world. Tell your friend she is brilliant. Tell that stranger she is called to big things. Tell that lady you met once about the sincere and lasting impression she had on you. Tell your colleague you appreciate her. Tell your boss she is leading strong. Tell your mother she was the very best that God had for you, her daughter, and that she did well in raising you!
Honour is just a thousand percent counter to the culture we exist in today and I believe it thrilling and rewarding to be counterculture in this instance. Be big with your words, not eloquent, just embarrassingly big. Make someone blush. Joy is the most beautiful blush on anyone’s face – why not be today’s reason for someone else’s joy!
Easily one of my favourite instructions in the bible, charger’s if you like, comes from Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Out-do one another in showing honour.”
Challenge accepted! There is always someone to esteem, someone to thank, dare I say save through your honour.
A lifestyle of honour is a deliberate one. Do not hope to be the same if you give yourself to this. Like I said, a far more exciting and radical life awaits those who loves others as themselves.
By Ang Keyter – Guest Blogger