To dig a little deeper under the surface, I find these four limitations when living under the Honor Shortage Emergency Ordinance like Jonah:
- COMPLEXITY: The number of decisions I face on a daily basis is already daunting. From getting dressed, to breakfast, to conversations, to work, to play, to grocery shopping I expend a large amount of energy making decisions. Life only increases in complexity when I must additionally decide who is worthy of honor.
- SUBJECTIVITY: I get it wrong often. I make selection errors. My own personal bias influences my decision to perceiving another's worthiness of receiving honor. I may be blinded by prejudices, past hurts, or traits I deem valuable. Subjectivity works against me when I am the arbiter of who is worthy of honor.
- SMALL POOL: Even with over seven billion people alive on Earth and technological advances in communication to connect most of them in an instant's notice, it is a common occurrence that we feel alone. When only some people are worthy of honor I end up with only a small pool of people in the club.
- HOPELESSNESS: With a small pool of people worthy of honor the world begins to look and feel darker. Instead of faith, hope and love remaining, faith decreases, hope diminishes, and love shrivels. The stranglehold of hopelessness reigns in a world where honor is given only to the few.
On the other hand, the world opens up to many opportunities when I honor people because I am honorable.
- SIMPLICITY: The freedom of being the same person in every circumstance is liberating. Whether I cross paths with a stranger at the bank or an acquaintance at a social function each of them receive honor because they are made in the image of God. This simplicity is empowering and world changing.
- EMPOWERED: Regardless of how people respond to me, I am empowered to walk in honor toward them. There is something incredibly liberating in knowing that I am only in control of myself. I can't control others. As I learn to walk more and more in this reality I find myself empowered instead of victimized.
- BIG OCEAN: Instead of the ever-shrinking world of dishonor, living a life of honor allows me to swim in the big ocean of possibilities. Each interaction with strangers, acquaintances, and friends in my everyday moments is a possibility for bringing honor. Though this won't change the world overnight, it is encouraging to know that each honoring interaction is a channel for the Kingdom of God to flow into others.
- HOPE: Like the light getting turned on in a dark room, the world moves from hopelessness to hopeful as I live in honor. Whether it ever gets publicly celebrated, there is hope knowing that God can use my simple contributions to impact the world. Instead of running or walking away in fear or discouragement, I can move forward in hope, in faith and in love.
In what ways have you noticed limitations and opportunities as you live a life of honor?
Find Pastor Michael's additional blogposts & resources on this theme here:
A Goal for Honor