Living In A Culture Of Honor

by PJ McClure on December 6, 2012

I’ve write and speak a lot on the subject of culture and its importance. Culture is so pervasive in our society that we don’t see how much it impacts what we take for granted.

A culture, by practical definition, is an environment that allows certain things to grow. It probably came as a laboratory term first and moved into society later, but the concept is the same. For example; the environment that allowed penicillin to grow was a specific culture. The scientists created a certain culture, watched what grew, and eventually ended up with a medicine that has saved countless lives.

Here’s a unique twist on that thought… in order for penicillin to grow, there was also a harmful bacteria growing in the same culture. Why not keep the bacteria out? Because without the bacteria we would have never known how strong penicillin is. 

Creating the culture you want in your family, business, church, or whatever involves more than saying, “I want these things and nothing else.” An overprotected culture is a sterile culture. Nothing grows in a sterile culture. If want to grow the good stuff, we must accept the risk of the bad. The good news is that whatever you nurture will win.

Specifically today I am thinking about something that is important to me in every area of my life; honor. It hasn’t always been. I used to value being right more than anything else (transparency time) and so the culture around me showed it. The fruit of that focus was a lot of defensive behavior, sarcasm, and shallow relationships. One of the most obvious things missing was the sense that everyone is valuable.

When I say, “Valuable,” I mean the inherent value in every life, not what I can get from them. When I was always worried about whether or not I was right about something, my view of others often fell to a judgement of whether they would agree with me or not. What grows in such a culture is not healthy.

The turning point came when I was indirectly challenged to allow disagreement. More so, to allow myself the opportunity to be wrong. AAAAACK!!! I almost choked on the implications, but the idea actually gave my soul some rest. It was a lot of work to nurture this other culture with no reward.

In order to make these changes in culture my first directive was one of honor. First with myself. I had to learn how to honor who I am, not who I am not. I still wrestle with that one from time-to-time, though I am getting more skillful. The next step was to do the same for everyone else.

The idea of honoring others is not about hiding your own opinions and convictions or constantly powdering the rumps of others. Honor is looking for what is beautiful in others even in the presence of what you do not find attractive about them. When conflict arises you can attack the issue, but you must honor the person. The reason why is far more powerful than the benefits of such a culture.

We honor others because, like us, they are the image bearers of God. To dishonor another is to dishonor their Creator and I want no part of THAT kind of culture.

Practice building a culture where honor grows. Yes, you will risk the presence of those that seek to dishonor, but your job is to nurture what you want and allow it to consume the other.

Look for what is beautiful in others and pray for it to become beautiful in you. Honor will follow.

Be your best,

PJ

Larry December 7, 2012 at 1:34 am

I do believe in what you are saying in this article. It is so true to honor first thyself before you can honor other people around. What is ” within” mirrors that kind of person ” without”. Huge thanks for reminding everybody that each one is valuable, no matter what.

PJ McClure December 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks Larry! Go forward and model that honor and the world around you will change.

Lisa Gane December 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Great Article, I am fighting with many demons right now, but One for sure is to never dishonor myself. I don’t allow myself to be me in many circumstances and situations because I am always afraid that I am saying something wrong that may bother or upset someone. I have to start realizing that what I have to say is just as important as anyone else. I understand what you were saying in your article but what hit me in the heart is when you said I or anyone who hides who they are to Honor others , that is me, and even though I am working hard at that issue. I still find it very difficult, but I hope with God by my side and in My Heart, I will soon know that He loves me no matter my weakness’s !!I hope to grow a very Healthy Engaging culture within my Blog/Facebook and It all be the True-Self. Lisa

PJ McClure December 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

That’s great Lisa, and I want to clarify; hiding who you are never honors anyone. Many of us have believed the lie that we must blend in or disappear in some instances because who we are could be in conflict with someone else. Hiding that does not honor them.

Learning to manage conflict, picking our battles, and being respectful are ways to be ourselves and still honor others, but not hiding who we are. By definition, that would be lying…to everyone. There’s no need to wait for the time of knowing that God loves you no matter what. That’s already fact. Your next step is living in that fullness.

Susie December 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

Beautiful words, spoken with eloquence! I will think about this as I go forward. Such a great message for me today! God bless you!

PJ McClure December 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Bless you back Susie! Send honor ahead of you and I promise the road will be worth traveling.

Fe December 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

thanks its a great help to live life to the fullest

Donna Rios December 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

PJ, Thank you for the reminder that ALL People are valuable. Despite how they act. Walking in Honor is very hard at times because our flesh always wants it’s way.

Thank you for your timely reminder

PJ McClure December 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

Hi Donna. It is true that the flesh always wants its way, but when we are born again we are no longer bound to those ways! Hallelujah! We can make the choice to live with honor as our default setting and the world WILL take notice. Keep it up!

Tamara Golden December 6, 2012 at 5:08 am

Awesome article, PJ! I never thought of culture that way, but you are absolutely right! And sadly, honor for others is so lacking everywhere you look these days in our largely self-absorbed society. So glad you posted this. You have a gift for articulating truth in a clear and inspiring way!

PJ McClure December 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

Thanks Tamara. Please go spread the word and see what happens around you. We can bring honor back!

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