I will start the same way I will end by saying this: “Honor begins where you end.” A verse the Lord hit me with a couple months back was 1 Chronicles 16:27, which states “Glory and Honor are in His presence, strength and gladness are in His place.” Since reading this verse the Lord has taken me on a journey from today back to His original definition of the word honor. We have our own definitions for honor, but He pressed upon me to search out His. Not only what honor means, but how to truly live it out. This resulted in God calling me to begin cultivating a culture of honor in my place of influence. To not only teach honor, but also to practice it, recognize it, reward it, and eventually expect it.
If you asked 100 people on the street to define the word honor, I’d say 99 percent of them would give you a definition along these lines; “Honor is doing something for someone you respect that is in a higher position than you.” While this is a good practice and characteristic to have as a person, this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the true meaning. Let’s begin by looking at the first time the word honor is used in the bible, Exodus 20:12. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The word ‘honor’ here in Hebrew is ‘kabad’ כַּבֵּ֥ד (Strong’s 3513) which simply means – to be heavy, to make weighty, be or make glorious, to promote, to be rich, to assign the highest value, or the one I want to focus on, to glory. As we begin to see the definition of honor unfold we must immediately tie it to the word ‘glory’ kabod (Strong’s 3519a.) This will help us further understand what it means to honor someone or something.
Revelation 4:11 says “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” This scripture speaks highly of glory in reference to it being a currency, which leads me to this truth; “Honor is the currency of heaven.” In a nutshell, honor is the way you buy, sell, and assign value to things, and/or people in the kingdom. This is why wealthy people understand honor. I am not talking about wealthy as in financially rich; I am talking about those who are rich in destiny. People who understand who they are in Christ, sons and daughters, no longer slaves, but adopted by the King of kings, living in the penthouse, no longer in the basement; that’s the kind of people that understand honor. Proverbs 26:1 says this “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Honor at it’s core, or when you honor someone, it doesn’t make sense to the world. The darkness doesn’t understand it, it is full of light therefore the darkness cannot comprehend it.
Let’s dig further into this. “Honorable people, honor people.” It is very interesting to me how God revealed His definition of honor to me. He did so in what most know as either a yoga move or a common Hindu greeting, ‘Namaste’. The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is glory within each of us that is located in the heart. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the glory in one by the glory in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means, "bow me you" or "I bow to you." The best way of defining this is “The glory God placed in me recognizes and honors the glory God placed in you.” Think even about the way this gesture is performed; placing your hands together with your thumbs pointing toward your soul and your fingers pointing toward your God, you bow to whom you are honoring, and you are figuratively doing this; digging for glory. What do I mean by this? If you read Genesis 26:12-31 you’ll read about Isaac re-digging the wells of his forefathers. 6 things we can learn from this passage:
1.) Isaac didn’t stop at blessing; he was hungry to fix/restore things. (v.18)
2.) He didn’t dig new wells (fresh/new.) He opened up old ones and restored them. (v.18)
3.) Not just Isaac, you see all digging together, working to restore glory/life together. (v.19)
4.) It will be a struggle. Digging for glory in others will be faced with opposition/resistance. (v.20)
5.) We must encourage that which we are digging for won’t be taken, but rather blessed and multiplied.
6.) Your life of digging for glory will inspire others to dig for glory. Your glory and ultimately His glory will be multiplied/increased.
This is what honorable people are called to do. Dig for, recognize, and honor the glory God has placed in an individual and bring it to the surface. It’s simple enough; to be a Jonathan to the David’s of this world. (i.e. everyone) To begin to love them for who God created them to be, instead of judging them for whom they aren’t. You can read in 1 Samuel 18 about Jonathan recognizing the glory in David, and in the midst of battle with the Philistines, honoring him by giving him his armor, signifying a transfer of power, recognizing him as next in line as king of the children of Israel. The most powerful thing about this transfer was that Jonathan was the son of King Saul and in line to become his successor. WOW! Talk about honor. That is the true definition of it. Recognizing and honoring the glory placed in David, and not stopping there but acting upon the recognition and making a way/enabling him to walk in his calling. That is good stuff. Let us be a Jonathan generation. One that is full of honor, one that is selfless. One that thinks less of denominations and more of His kingdom; a generation that focuses on the God-given glory, not what the world has to say about people.
This culture of honor will not be easy to grow because it goes against all we’ve been taught in society; “me first.” This culture of honor requires placing God and others before you. (Prov. 3:9) We must focus on first honoring God because when we do, it will enable us to properly honor others. Let us have this attitude in practicing honor: Good athletes practice until they get it right. Great athletes practice until they never get it wrong. We must know that in living in an “Honor Culture” that it is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to try to give honor and fail. My dad always said “If your bait doesn’t get stuck on the bottom every once in a while, then you’re not fishing deep enough.”
So when looking at honor as a currency, remember this; “Honor buys what pride can’t afford.” And always remember, “Honor begins where you end.” Namaste.
- Pastor Andy Stevens, Youth Pastor at Christian Fellowship of Nitro, WV.