Romans 12:10 (ESV) – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
I’m sitting in a circle with 5 lovely ladies – all of whom I appreciate and admire for different reasons. They are amazing. But the facilitator has just asked us to speak words of life and honor to each other and to make sure that we look eye-to-eye throughout the whole process. Piece of cake when you’re doing the talking. It’s easy to breathe life into them – to tell them how you appreciate them for not only what’s on the outside, what they do, but for who they really are. It’s easy to tell them how you see them, how the Father sees them, how the world should see them.
Then it’s your turn to sit in the chair. Your turn to look them in the eyes and listen to what they think about you, how they honor you.
It will seem awkward at first. You’ll think, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” You will wish you could close your eyes and just transport out of the room. But you won’t. Instead you’ll push through the uncomfortable feeling and you’ll look them in the eye. . . every last one of them. You’ll lean in and listen with your ears, with your eyes and through their touch.
They’ll honor you.
They’ll speak words of life to you - words that you’re not even sure you believe about yourself just yet. They won’t tell you the things you already believe about yourself – the half truths, the lies, the image you have of yourself (the inside and outside). No, they’ll tell you what they really see, what they know to be true.
They’ll honor you.
“Your value isn’t determined by what you do.”
“I love your tender heart.”
“I honor you for your dedication to strip away religion and go after God relentlessly.”
And at the end of the night, when you’re lying in bed trying to settle down to sleep, you’ll sneak over to your bag, find your headphones, plug them in and listen again.
And the next day.
And the next.
Why? Because it’s uplifting; it’s life-giving; it’s a paradigm that every person in the entire world should practice, should implement, should adhere to.
- Tell someone what you admire about them.
- Tell someone that they are valuable to you.
- Tell someone that you see them; you love them; you appreciate them; you honor them.
Proverbs 18:21 (ISV) The power of the tongue is life and death— those who love to talk will eat what it produces.
How do you do that? Well, it’s easy, really. Take a moment, pull them aside, grab their hand (or maybe touch their shoulder), and look them in the eye. Words go deep. Then, start talking. Both you and the one you’re honoring will walk away from that moment changed.
I know I did.