In a culture of honor, leaders lead by courageously treating people according to the names God gives them and not according to the aliases they receive from people.
People create an alias for themselves when they choose to believe a lie as truth.
For instance, if a child is behaving poorly, a parent can choose to say, “You are such a bad kid. Why would you do something so stupid?” Or, a parent can choose to say, “I know you felt frustrated by what happened. I also know you are kind and gentle, and you are smart. I know you can come up with a better choice next time. That is who you are.” If we receive too many messages like the former, we will come to believe lies about ourselves. If we receive messages like the latter, it becomes easier to understand the truth about the way God sees us and in turn, this will affect our actions.
We have the opportunity to choose to ask God about every person we encounter. It can be easy to see a person for the poor choices they have made, or the version of themselves they have become because of false understandings, and lies they have believed. God gives us the opportunity to see someone the way he sees them. We partner with God when we ask him to reveal to us the truth about the way he sees someone.
Honor does not demand that a person displays perfect behavior before being treated honorably. Honor is an inside job. It requires us to look at the core of a person’s heart rather than what is happening on the outside. We can love and display honor no matter what choices another person might make. Not only can we learn to manage ourselves, but we go one step farther to cause a shift in another person’s life despite their poor choices. We can raise the bar of expectation based upon what we see in them. Our beliefs become truths that inevitably affect our choices leaving a lasting impact on those around us.
Our words have power. It is easy to recognize in our lives the way words have impacted us for the good, and the bad. When we are around someone who speaks love and encouragement, it can change our perspectives, and help us to accomplish goals we might not ever set for ourselves. In the same way, words can negatively affect the way we view ourselves and our capability. Imagine what it would feel like to erase every negative word ever spoken to you. How would your life look different? Would the way you make choices change?Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of life and death are in the tongue.” As we partner with God to see a person's true identity, we encourage the fullness of life by speaking that identity over them. God sees each of us through the lens of love, and his desire is that we will see each other in the same way.
P.S. If you would like more resources on honor we are running a special on our Foundations of Honor series.