Honour. It’s not a commonly used word or central value in our culture today. As a society we have done a good job of tarnishing the concept of honour. Some might say we have lost it entirely. Very rarely do we see people honouring one another unless it will benefit them in some way.
I've heard it said that respect should be earned and that honour should be freely given, implying that respect and honour are not the same. Whether or not you agree, it made me wonder what it means to honour someone.
It is likely you have heard the word honour used in reference to the Medal of Honour, honour killings or getting honours for doing well in study. But when it comes to honour in the bible do we understand what it really means?
In the Old Testament the word for honour comes from the root word “kabod”, which literally means heavy or weighty. Figuratively speaking then it would mean to give weight to someone. In the New Testament derivatives of the word “Timao” are used, translated to mean placing great value or worth on someone. To biblically honour someone is to place weight, value and worth on them.
It’s a hard truth: the amount of honour we give people will be based on how much value we see in them. When we don’t honour people we are effectively saying “I see no value or worth in you”.
Romans 12: 10 says “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves”. Imagine if we chose to give more value and worth to others than we do ourselves, if we started seeing the value in others where it had gone unnoticed before. What would our world look like if biblical honour was a value in our culture?
Honour needs to be restored to our world. It starts with us. What could this look like in your life? Who in your life could you show more honour to? What is stopping you from starting today?