Vital leaders know the significance of the choice to honor others. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Miranda A. Loera)

There is a rare word that is nearly becoming extinct in society and in the church. It is a lovely word, a powerful character trait and an attitude that the Bible requires those known as Christians to display perpetually.

The word is "honor."

Honor holds an intrinsic influence and a divine power. The blessing of this word is not merely received by those to whom honor is shown but always the blessing of honor has a boomerang effect. The reward of honor is that the one who is giving the honor is always given more impact and leverage on which to build a life.

Vital leaders know the significance of the choice to honor others.

I am afraid that perhaps the word "honor" with its intended influence and inherent blessing is becoming an archaic part of society. We have filed the word "honor" away with other forgotten virtues like "innocence," "purity" and "submission".

Words and attitudes such as "anger," "the right to be heard" and "my voice" have loudly drowned out the more golden traits such as "honor."

The Bible says we are to honor our parents, honor widows, honor elders and pastors, honor the king, honor those in authority, honor our marriages, honor the Lord and "honor all people."

You don't have to agree with someone to honor them. Honor simply means "to show a courteous regard for another person or for their position." I can honor a political person without having voted for them.

I can honor my boss even though at times I might make a different decision that he or she would.

I can honor my parents even though I am no longer a child in their home.

I can honor other's responses on social media even though I might have a different opinion or bias than they do.

When I choose to honor others, I am obeying the Bible. When I choose to honor others, often I am dying to self. When I choose to honor others, I am demonstrating the character and the witness of Jesus Christ.

Anger and fear will always erase any potential for demonstrating honor to others. If I allow anger to become part of my emotional blueprint, there is no room for honor in my words or in my actions. If I am afraid of others and of their opinions, honor is quickly replaced by pride and selfish ambition.

The choice is yours: Do you want to be a person of influence and virtue, or do you simply want to slather your opinions over every one?

Do you want to be a leader of virtue and character or do you simply want your voice to be heard?

Do you want to build a platform based on anger and opinion, or do you want to be known for intellectual humility?

My hope is that we reacquaint ourselves with the impact that this one five-letter word holds. The choice to honor a person made in the image of God may be the most powerful choice you will ever make.

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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