Honor Isn’t Outdated

Sarah Otteson   -  

In a day and age where our culture is quite progressive across the board, specifically in the public sector, is it just me who finds it ironic that teachers are still to be addressed in what a seemingly “old school” title would be? Mr. Macgillicuddy or Miss Crabtree, a few examples. I have never once heard a student refer to a teacher by their first name, yet it is becoming more and more of a casual custom for children to call adults by their first names.
Now, before I continue I just want to be clear that I am not taking a stance for or against the particular way parents instruct their children to address adults, but merely commenting on an observation.
So, why do we do it? Why address a policeman as “officer,” your mom’s father as “grandpa,” a judge as “your honor,” your athletic instructor as “coach,” or the church’s leaders as “pastor?” They are all titles of respect given to people we esteem and potentially honor. A title isn’t an in all end all for certain but it is in and of itself deserving of respect. Whether we like it or not, we must respect our authorities, and in return we are guaranteed a relatively good life. If you break traffic laws, disobey your boss or teacher, and rebel against your parents, I guarantee you life will be painful and a bit of a mess.
Respect will always be demanded from us. Yet, honor is in a realm unto itself. Honor cannot be asked for, it truly can only be given from a heart posture of humility.
Honor is a choice. Respect is a obligation.
Respect bears a good life. Honor harvests a blessed life.
Respect most often bears a title, while honor bestows a posture.
We are called to respect all people no matter how messed up they might be, but choosing to honor someone is a whole other level.
I love what Pastor Stan Russell says “put a crown a couple inches above someone’s head and watch them grow into it.” Wow. What an empowering statement.
Honor is a sacrifice. A lessing of myself to magnify Jesus and what He is doing in someone else.  It does cost us something. Nothing of value comes without a price.
My prayer is that we could be a people, a family, a community who are so after the heart of God that we can take our eyes off of ourselves often enough, to honor those in our world. What would Tualatin High or Sherwood Middle School look like if those halls were filled with agents of honor? Sons and daughters who bestowed crowns a couple inches above people’s heads, believing God’s plan and purpose over the lives of bullies or outsiders? Can you imagine the home of a 7th grade young man who decided in his heart to believe the word of God and whole heartedly honor his father and mother even when they pull the terrifying two letter word “no”?
Honor is so powerful! By nature it must only be yielded for good. So go! Go make honor viral in your life! It isn’t outdated or overrated. It isn’t even old school! Honor is what every heart craves and longs for.

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