Sex in our culture has become debased. Instead of being an expression of honour, care and love, it has become the one night stand, the casual affair, the inescapable end to a date. Increasingly it seems that the process of building relationship, of finding out about the real person – a process that implicitly honours them, has been discarded. It’s about ‘pulling’ someone for sex rather than honouring them. Love and honour have been reduced to mere pleasure seeking sex – or worse. The removal of someone’s choice, or making choices that they are unable to contradict is the ultimate dishonour. Rape is about degrading and dishonouring, it imposes one persons choice on another or takes advantage of their inability to make their own choice.
The same with media, it is all about dishonouring, finding the best gossip, the media taking pictures of people in compromising positions – such as with Kate and William. Blaring all mistakes out to the world too. It often does it in subtle ways, getting us to see entire people groups as dishonourable and worthless – blackening their names (Muslims, asylum seekers, travellers, Christians, different races, teenagers etc..). Putting others down so we appear better. We live in a ‘mock the week’ environment where it is easier to pull down than build up. We’ve seen recently how easy it is to defame people almost on a whim.
In the political arena we see just the same. Parliament and PMQ’s is now often more reminiscent of the school playground than a chamber for honest debate. Point scoring, making the other side appear crass has become the modus operandi. Even when people try to engage, they are held up as ‘holier than thou’ or their words are taken out of context and twisted into parody.
In the bible it says about Jesus that we esteemed him not. The son of God was on earth yet we did not honour him. He was despised, rejected, his name blackened, betrayed. The prostitute who wiped his feet with her tears and poured huge amounts of expensive perfume knew about honour – and Jesus honoured her in front of her enemies. ‘What this woman has done will be remembered in all generations’.
So to honour is to treat with respect, to esteem, to raise up..... not to ignore problems, not to elevate for the wrong reasons, but to look for what is good and honour that. This verse sums it up:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
So to honour God means to acknowledge who he is, and what he has done. It’s more than just words.....it has action too. If you are to honour someone you don't do stuff that may dishonour them. You put them in a deserved place. To honour our forefathers is to build on what they have started, and the same with God, we build on what he has begun, but it is more than the building it is also about rightly attributing stuff to people/God – rightfully assigning value to what they have done
So why don’t we honour like this? Is it because of our own insecurity? Do we seek power and status over others in order to feel better?
We dishonour, lower others in order to feel higher. But Jesus says he has lifted us up to the height of his throne. We don’t need to be any higher than we actually, already are. To attempt to lift ourselves is to deny what God has already done and in our minds we lower him. In reality, we debase ourselves from where God has placed us.
Prejudice gives us a convenient set of people that we (and others) find it acceptable to dishonour. Who are we lifting up? Who are we putting down? Are their groups of people that we instinctively despise? Who are we in reality dishonouring.
Jesus said ‘if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to me’. Our world desperately needs to get honour. It needs to get what it means to honour each other. We, I need to learn the art of honouring.
So with all that in mind I would like to honour David my fellow blogger (hopefully without sounding soppy and gushy cos he wouldn't like that, and he hasn't read this bit!) I would like to honour him for bearing with me through writers block and not just looking for another blogger to replace as in a consumer society. I would like to honour him for seeking Gods way in things, and for courage in jumping off the cliff. I would like to honour him for the God given wisdom he has imparted to me and many, many others. I would like to honour him for the trust he places in people around and the way he empowers so many people to live out of Gods purposes. I would like to honour him for sharing words of knowledge and prophetic insights. I would like to honour him for his humility and ability to listen to honest feedback from others. I would like to honour him for the way in which he sacrifices things – often with difficult consequences (job/money/position) to head in the direction God has shown him. I would like to honour him for trusting in God to provide.