categories: culture
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May 17th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

16 comments (+ Add)

A Culture of Honor

When I travel to different countries, I always ask my friend who has traveled to well over 100 countries, what do I need to know about showing honor?

For example, when we ministered in Korea, my friend told me to

  • Always bring a gift to offer
  • Hand it with two hands not one
  • Embrace my right forearm with my left hand when shaking hands.

These are simple ways to show honor in Korea.

After learning from him about several different countries, I asked, “How would you advise me to show honor if I was visiting the United States from another country?” He laughed as he told me, “I wouldn’t have to tell you anything because most people don’t care about showing honor in our country.”

His comment made me think. Have we become (for the most part) a culture without honor?

When Jesus returned home, people were offended by him and treated him as a commoner. Jesus said, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Mark 6:4

Verse 5 and 6 said, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:5-6

Notice the Bible doesn’t say he “would” not, but “could” not do any miracles.

I wonder if our “lack of honor” to God and His people is limiting what could happen in our churches. What do you think?

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  1. May 17, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I would say there is horrible lack of honor in our nation. It extends into every part. We don’t honor our leaders, regardless of their political views, we mock them and tear them down. We don’t honor the church as an institution as a nation, it too is mocked and as a result men of God are not honored by people of this nation, they are seen as liars and thieves (some of this we have brought on ourselves). And that has spilled over into the church and sadly many Christians/churches do not honor their pastors, but rather treat them with dishonor. And we certainly have lost honor for God.

    We need to see a revival in the culture of honor in this nation. I believe it would have a profound effect on our nation and our churches. It goes back to the great commandment, “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.” If we could do that honor for God and others would never be an issue and we would see the hand of God move like never before.

    My 2 cents for what it is worth :-)

  2. May 17, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I would say that you have hit the nail hard Craig. Pastor James McDonald is fond of saying “for the fame of His Name.” I think we have forgotten that it is all about Him and His fame. May we give honor to Whom honor is due even when it is shown toward us. And when it is shown toward us may we be gracious in accepting it.

  3. May 17, 2010 at 8:23 am

    How do you define honor? The reason I ask is in my opinion you would ge 10 different answers if you asked ten different people. I believe that there is a lack of honor for God and His church, but I believe the deeper issue is that people don’t know what or how to honor God correctly. Ex: some would emphatically claim that if you are to honor God in church you must wear a tie. Others would pationately plead for you to affirm as many people as you can.

    Have you guys done a series or produced materials on this topic before?

  4. 4Shannon Brummer
    May 17, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I totally agree that our lack of honor to God limits what could be happening in our churches. Thank you for such a thought-provoking blog!

  5. May 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I,like most men, try not to get too emotional in front of others but after the message on Honor, I was in tears in front of our church family as I spoke of the Honor I have for my wife and the brothers I have worked with for years in ministry. Then later I spoke to our teenagers, who nearly always love the messages. To the Forgotten Virtues messages they almost seem indifferent. Its like they really have no concept what virtues such as Honor and Loyalty are. I hear people complaining frequently about how disrespectful kids are these days. I believe this may be a parenting problem more than its been a kid problem. What have parents done with Honor?

  6. May 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

    To answer your question, yes - our lack of honor to God and His People are limiting what could happen in our churches!

    I think it’s mostly cross-church honoring that has become the problem. For the most part, I see the inside of church walls being honorable (but then again, I’m 20 years old and haven’t seen that much).

    From my perspective, the largest problem with honor isn’t inside the walls, but across the platform. (c)hurches honoring churches. It’s crazy how we can often treat other churches as our enemies…which is SO NOT HONORING TO GOD!

    Not honoring other churches = not honoring God.

    All throughout the NT I see churches loving and honoring other churches! (They even had some disagreements, but they stated/faced them in honorable ways).

    This dishonoring leads to the lost not wanting to be “found” in the middle of our often bloody waters.

    BUT I do see the Church changing and it is exciting me! GOD’s moving in His believers to reunite them as One…and I’m excited for what it will look like in 5 years!

  7. May 17, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Another thought: I love to praise God. In fact I love to hear other people praise God for what He has done in their lives. I love to hear what God is doing and then sing to him, pray to him, and any other way we praise him. But I struggle to honor Him. Praise and honor both require humility… Is it possible we are apt to praise God more than honor him because honor has a deeper sense of humility & sacrfice? Our praise comes as a reaction (right or wrong, for most, this is true)but honor seems as if it has to come regardless of merit. Maybe this is why we like to praise more than honor…idk just a thought

  8. May 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hey Mason,

    Yes Craig has preached a message on this subject recently?

    Here’s the definition of honor from his teaching notes. honor: Greek word time (tim-may’)- to value, respect, or highly esteem; to treat as precious, weighty or valuable.

  9. May 18, 2010 at 5:57 am

    “I wonder if our “lack of honor” to God and His people is limiting what could happen in our churches.”…My thoughts….Spot On… 100% Yes! If our “church” culture in America could take the focus off of church “the business”, “destination”, or place of “esteemed titles” and put the focus on the glory of God through THE WORD of God (no man)…We could experience more than we could ever imagine. The problem is we do not truly believe God is who he says he is…we limit him…I challenge all to redirect your focus up where it belongs and off of you. We are all standing in the way of God’s true blessings, glory and ultimate freedom in him alone….we are all (me #1) so dumb so times…to think we know more than God. We are all so silly.:)

  10. 10jimmy hankins
    May 18, 2010 at 6:08 am

    It’s a fascinating question. If you want a well worn-out opinion, I don’t see a lack of the desire to honor God among God’s people. It’s evident in the music, the worship services, the efforts to build and grow the church. Even in the church’s efforts to reach others with the message of the gospel, within their own limitations. It’s those limitations I wonder at. Do you think that Christ couldn’t perform ” any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them” because their lack of faith in some way actually limited his power? Or was it because of His obedience to the Father’s will? Honor is an interesting concept, right up there with godliness. One thing neither will ever be a substitute for is obedience. Maybe the question is whether you honor in word or deed? Neither is desire a substitute for action.

  11. 11Terese
    May 18, 2010 at 7:38 am

    We teach our kids about honor like this - “Honor means treating someone as special, doing more than what is expected, and doing it with a good attitude.” (Thanks to Is this entirely missing in the American church? No! There are many churches who honor and do it well. My observation has been that predominantly African-American churches seem to have a tradition of honor that you do not see as often in other churches. I have also observed, sadly, that in some churches “honor” becomes a way to manipulate the congregation into elevating a leader but that honor is not extended to all.

  12. 12david jarrett
    May 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Just a quick note, if you are on facebook search [ 4RC the lakes ] its a fan page of our church. and also pastor craig would love to see a series similar to so your dead now what, but call so your a christian now what. I see alot of newe believers who think I am a christian now so I am done. but that is just the begining.

  13. May 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Brandon, thank you for the link.

  14. May 22, 2010 at 7:51 am

    [...] people who have had an impact in your life?  By the way, I’ve been reading this interesting series of posts on honour over on the Swerve Blog, check it out! (each one of those links [...]

  15. May 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    [...] the posts Craig Groeschel is writing about Honor.  Read them here, here, here, and [...]

  16. Jun 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Whoa good point… and they say to best way to learn a new culture is through the language or even the idioms.