Cultivating a Culture of Honor (Part 1)

Honor is an endangered species—almost extinct in the American culture—seemingly destined to join the ranks of the dodo bird and the tyrannosaurus rex. Honor was once a treasured attribute to be freely given or gained. Honor was a sign of respect—an esteem offered in reverence—a valuation of dignity and deference to another. Today, the once chivalrous ideals immortalized by the knights of King Arthur’s Roundtable have been replaced by a selfish egocentric-minded horde of Conan the barbarians.

Dishonor has ascended and seated itself on the throne and authentic honor is quickly becoming its court jester. Our government is awash in scandal and partisan politics where the most effective tool of destruction is dishonor. The news reporting agencies, once reported by objective journalist, have now become purveyors of innuendo, half-truths, and total miss-truths intent on destroying through dishonor any movement, organization, or person who disagrees with their particular flavor of  belief. Pop culture entertainment reeks with dishonor. Even our children’s video games are filled with the violence of dishonor. It is a pandemic that has been loosed on our society that if not challenged and changed will result in the beauty of God’s highest creation becoming just another ravenous carnivore roaming the jungle where only the strongest survive.

 It was never meant to be this way—this was never God’s plan or purpose. What we are witnessing is the rapid evolution of evil and the sad unconcern of the church. The darkness is getting darker while the light seems to be fleeing to the hinterlands of some non-existent place. The fault for this dilemma rests not on the world around us, but squarely on the back of the church. Let me show you what I mean.

The word “culture” is derived from the agricultural term “cultivate.” By cultivating, a person prepares the ground for planting and sows the seeds. A good definition of culture is the result of what we have planted intellectually, spiritually, politically, economically, and physically. The biblical principle of sowing and reaping is clearly evident if you choose to look around.

We have not cultivated honor in our own families and churches, and therefore, dishonor has filled the vacuum. Dishonor is rampant within the church. Rather than value people, we tend to use them. You might not like that but think about it—have you been valued for what you can do—a task, a job, or a service—rather than for who God created you to be? If so, you have been dishonored. Have you ever been made to feel guilty because you chose not to do something some one else felt you would be great at? You were dishonored. Have you ever been used or abused by someone in spiritual authority? You were dishonored. Have you ever looked down your nose at someone or felt superior or more spiritual? You committed dishonor. We have all experienced it and are all guilty of it.

Things must change. We must be the ones who cultivate a new kind of culture—a culture of honor. If we do nothing and expect change to come—we have fulfilled the definition of idiocy. If this culture of honor thing intrigues you, join me over the next few weeks as I lay out a radical but biblical plan on how we can change culture one person at a time through honor. It is simple but profound!