If I got a dollar bill for every time someone disrespected me, if I was paid each time someone walked over me, if they considered giving me some reward at every moment of dishonour, I should be on Forbes list of rich men by now. And if someone got paid too for every time I acted without knowledge on how to treat people, they probably will be wealthy too. But I am learning and I have learnt. I think most folks haven’t been taught how to handle honour and this is a vital learning in ministry if you must last and fulfill your assignment to its full capacity. You must learn how to receive honour from senior ministers should they choose to honour you; from colleagues, should they choose to honour you and lastly from younger ministers, should they choose to honour you.
Here are 3 wrong ways to handle honour:
1. Immediately assume they honour you because you are better than them.
2. Immediately assume they honour you because they need something from you.
3. Immediately assume they want you to mentor them or father them.
There are moments you will relate with a supposed colleague and then they immediately raise their shoulders, lift up their nose and talk condescending. It makes you smile and occasionally laugh at their complex. I have learnt and I am still learning each day about how to receive people’s humility. We all have to learn that. I sometimes return home shaking my head at people’s ineptitude to grasp that you deserve to be honoured not because you are rich, not because you are successful, not because you are old, not because you have anything to offer but simply because HONOUR IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT.
1 Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
We don’t honour people because they are sound neither because they have a larger congregation nor do we honour them because of their fine dresses or beautiful cars. We honour people because they are made in the image of God. Here are right ways to receive and relate with honour:
1. Think more about why they chose to honour you than why you are deserving of the honour. Focus more on the generosity of the man lavishing you with honour than the ‘superb-ness’ of your giftedness. If you focus on yourself and the beauty of your presence, you are quarter to misbehaving and maybe losing a vital relationship in life. Remove yourself from the equation and honour the graciousness of the person honouring you
2. Think about this, even if for some reason you seem to be ahead of them today, they shouldn’t be dishonoured since being ahead of people is not the sole heritage of your family. The man behind you today may not always be behind you. The principle that you are setting forth is that if by divine providence they move ahead of you, they should reciprocate dishonour to you.
Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo taught me something powerful recently: “THE VERY THING YOU USE TO FEEL SUPERIOR TO SOMEONE TODAY IS THE SAME THING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL INFERIOR WHEN YOU FIND SOMEONE THAT HAS MORE THAN YOU”. That blessed the socks off my feet. Whoa! If because you have two cars now you feel superior to a man with one car, the day you meet a man with eight cars inferiority complex will descend on you like the June rain. Calm down, Sir, the journey is far. The first man to buy a house does not usually have the most beautiful house eventually.
3. Truth is age is more than a number contrary to modern opinions but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse of disrespect and dishonour. Let them that are experienced be gracious in their knowledge. Don’t teach people and talk them down while you explain things.
Here is a closing counsel to that man of honour that has been treated badly simply because you chose a less travelled road of honour. Don’t hold people to how they decided to treat you. You may choose to keep a distance if you can’t correct them but be assured that they did not mean to hurt you. It’s just that the knowledge of how to receive honour is grossly inadequate in this generation.
Remember this, VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD. With or without anything external, the beauty of VIRTUE is that the sheer nobility to possess such stands has its own REWARD. Simply that the response of people shouldn’t make you change your creed. Your understanding and behaviour shouldn’t be regulated by the response of others. Honour people, love people, give to people and when they don’t reciprocate the same, FIND SOLACE IN THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING RIGHT IN A TIME THAT CELEBRATES SOMETHING WRONG. If that’s the only reward you get, ITS A GOOD ONE!