There’s a phenomenon, I guess you’d call it, that I’ve observed down through the years. And it seems to have it’s effect just about every time….on whoever it’s applied on, or practiced with. It’s the thing of giving honor, or not giving honor, to someone. The conventional way of thinking is that when someone does something noble or noteworthy that we then honor them for their behavior. Makes sense from a logical standpoint. But, I’ve also seen that when we honor someone above their achievements that they nearly always without fail…..rise to a higher level of action. There’s plenty of people who would argue with that line of thinking but you can’t argue with real, genuine results! And again…..you get positive results nearly every time you do it. It seems to work in whatever venue it’s exercised in, whether in your own family, the workplace, the church, friendships or even with just casual relationships.
It works! But, the opposite side of the coin always seems to work, (‘or not work’, might be a better description!) too. When we don’t give that honor…..or when we ignore the actions of those that we interact with, or have a low opinion of them…..they will nearly always lower their behavior to that level, as well. It just does something to a person’s self-esteem. You can probably think about the times that you’ve been honored, ……or dishonored, maybe even overlooked and remember how it made you feel. I think something very profound happens when we give honor…..even before it’s earned.
I’ve said many times that in being a pastor it’s a lot more important for me to teach people ‘who they are’, than to teach them ‘what to do’. For me it’s obvious; when people begin to understand ‘who’ they really are (from God’s perspective)…..that’s when the behavior begins to really change….and it’s always a change for the better! He’s put an extremely high value on you, even called you His own sons and daughters. That makes me want to live up to my true identity!
People have a tendency to live up (or down) to the opinion you have of them.