As a teacher, I have many encounters with people of totally different backgrounds, personalities, beliefs, and viewpoints. I don't always see eye-to-eye with them and may disagree not only with what they are saying, but with how they are treating me. Times like these, I realize not only how important honour is, but the immensity of the power it contains as well.
First, think of the spirit of retribution. Someone wrongs you, you wrong that person in kind. A real life, but sad, example is of gang wars. I hear in the news or see it portrayed in shows how a gang member will be injured by a rival gang, which leads to retribution for the injured member, which sparks what seems to be a never-ending feud. When does it end? When there's no one left to carry on the retribution?? Does revenge actually accomplish anything positive or does its partakers only reap negative rewards?
Sticking with the teacher example, there will be times that I am angered and hurt by the words/actions of a parent or even a co-worker. My first instinct is to be defensive and find ways to "put them in their place." However, I can stand up for myself while still remaining humble and retaining a spirit of honour. When I choose to lay aside my rights to lambaste them (in the most tactful, discreet way possible of course ;-)), and instead, choose to honour and seek ways to work with them in rectifying the problem, positive rewards come from those choices.
Honour means to greatly respect, regard, or esteem someone. I propose that honour starts with our relationship with God. When we have that intimacy with Christ and know our identities in Him, we are better equipped for being who He's called us to be. It won't always be easy, but I believe that honouring others, whether or not they deserve it, honours God above all. Instead of seeking only to get my own way, I can value others and their input. I esteem them and the relationship more than being right.
As I seek to build a culture of honour in my classroom and with my students' parents, as well as in all other areas of my life, I believe that honour fosters more honour. When people feel valued, they are more likely to drop their defenses and desire to work with you in coming to a solution that both parties feel is acceptable. And the best part, is that God is honoured in the process of figuring out the problem. Seek to honour in all circumstances, with all people, and see what God does! Honour does not mean being a doormat, but rather, being God's diplomat.