Friday, June 17, 2011

PLEASE, Do NOT "Honor" Me!

What is "Honor", really? How do you "Honor" someone, or actually- how do you make someone feel "Honored"?
I began to ask myself these questions a year or so ago, because I would be told (to my face and from a platform in front of thousands) that I was being "Honored"- but I walked away feeling nothing close to what I thought "Honor"should feel like. I felt useless, untalented, unwanted, a number instead of a person, a body to feel a chair, purposeless, an obligation. I was to the point of saying, PLEASE, do not "Honor" me!
I had a conversation with my mom about how I questioned "Honor" and it's intentions. I had no idea our conversation was. She told me about a book my Sister, Tara, and her Husband, Craig, (who are Senior Pastors in Georgia) were reading called "Culture of Honor" by Danny Silk. The book discusses/explains/challenges most of the questions I had. Tara and Craig said that the book had completely changed the way they Pastored and Parented and even conducted themselves. My Mom went on to explain to me some projects Tara and Craig had started implementing in their church in trying to create a Culture of Honor- Mom said it was an incredible thing to witness and the difference you felt in that church. THAT perked my interest, and I was determined to learn how to "Honor" because I knew that "Honor" had to be more than a word with no meaning.
I've recently started studying a bit again out of my own "need". Much of what I've studied and learned so far hit me more the second time around than the first!
Honor empowers! We honor others by identifying their gifts/talents and empowering them to use them. We look for ways to include someone and use them and empower them.
Honor ELEVATES- it does not become about status, but about equals. One of my favorite things I heard was, Honor brings Freedom, which brings responsibility, for ME to "be ME"- no matter who you are or who you expect me to be, no matter what you do, say, or have. Because when we honor we respect and value the individual and their gifts and have no need to change or mold them.
Honor coming from an esteemed individual (often a Pastor, Boss, Mentor) protects us- especially when we're Honored in spite of mistakes. It also causes us to protect our esteemed individual- to protect should not feel like an obligation.
Honor does not punish repentance.
Honor makes "confrontation conflict" okay. It's alright to confront and not agree- because there's freedom and safety, there's an appreciation for individualization and differences of opinion. Have you ever been asked a "yes or no" question- but you knew there was really only one answer and you better give it? Ever asked your opinion but knew there would be repercussions for giving it? Have you ever questioned something but would never dare say it out loud and just agreed to be 'safe'? Well, obviously I've been in those situations and witnessed them- and that is NOT honor, that is ego. If it is done honorably- confrontation conflict is effective and healthy and needed.
I began to look past the failed "Honor"- and realized it was ignorance, they really didn't know what true "Honor" was. Truthfully, I didn't either- I just knew sitting me on the front row did NOT honor me. Saying my name from the platform did NOT honor me. Acknowledging my presence did NOT honor me. Hugging me out of obligation did NOT honor me. Asking me to make a cake did NOT honor me. Lying to me did NOT honor me. It actually hurt more than anything, because I came to realize they did not KNOW me to acknowledge or "Honor" me in any other way. That saying, "Actions speak louder than words".
What have I learned? I've learned what Honor is, I've learned what I need to feel Honored, most importantly I've learned how to Honor others and the importance of it.

I highly encourage everyone to read this book: Culture of Honor by Danny Silk

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