The prophetic word I have for you is that YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GIVE IT, GET IT & GROW IT. Honour is the value you place on someone or something. To honour simply means to view as valuable or to view as precious. The value you put on someone determines how you treat that person. The value you give to God determines how you treat him. The Honour Code features highly in Judaism, Christianity and African Culture. In the three communities, individual identity is closely knit with the community to which one belongs. One’s humanness is seen by how one relates with the community around him/her. African philosophy has one of its celebrated sayings which sums up the need for the Honour Code. It says, ‘I am because we are’ which in Zulu means, ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ and in Shona means, ‘Munhu, munhu pavanhu’. Therefore Ubuntu (Zulu), Unhu (Shona) defines our humanness in relation to how we honour others in the community. The Honour Code is crucial for our spiritual, physical, social, moral and material wellbeing.
The Bible is awash with people who gave high value to the Honour Code in the way they related with other people or handled tempting situations which could lure them to desacralise the Honour Code:
# David did not kill King Saul because of the stipulations of the honour code concerning the anointed of God.
# Joseph refused to go to bed with Potiphar’s wife even though she had put safety measures because of the honour code.
# Job refused to curse God and die because of the honour code.
# The three Hebrew boys refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idols because of the honour code.
# Peter and John, after being beaten and warned not to preach Christ chose to obey God because of the honour code.
# Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision when being tried by King Agrippa because of the honour code.
# Mordecai refused to bow down to Harman because of the honour code.
# Joseph before an angel appeared to him, wanted to secretly break up with Mary due to her pregnancy because of the honour code.
1. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GIVE IT
Honour is something we should give to God, to our parents and to all other people. We honour God because of his POSITION i.e. who he is and not what he does. He is EL ELYON the Most High God. In Malachi 1:6 God is making a formal complaint to his people Israel, ‘A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’. The main culprits who showed contempt for his name were the priests who offered blind, lame and diseased animals for sacrifice. Ironically these priests offered to God animals which were detestable to offer to the governor. It is our duty to give God the honour due him.
# Honour God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
# Honour God with highest praise.
# Honour God with the first best (First-fruit).
# Honour God with your tithes and offerings.
# Honour God with your lifestyle (Holiness)
After giving honour to God, your own parents are next on line. Deuteronomy (5:16) quoting one of the ten commandments says, ‘Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you’. The honour we give to God is about worship but the honour we give to our parents and other people is about treating them with dignity and respect. The two Hebrew words for honouring human beings are KAVOD meaning to dignify and MORAH meaning to respect. We give respect and dignity to our parents by obeying them, clothing them, feeding them and sheltering them. The two sons of Noah, when they realised that their father was naked, they covered him with a piece of cloth hence the duty to dignify our parents.
Your ability to give honour to all other people is determined by how much you honour God and your parents. If you fail to honour God and your parents, you are not likely to be able to honour other people. People who dishonour other people are actually dishonouring God and their parents. If you dishonour other pastors, you are in effect dishonouring your own pastor too.
# Give due honour to your spiritual leaders.
# Give due honour to your employer.
# Give due honour to Civil authority.
# Give due honour to your spouse.
# Give due honour to your siblings and relatives.
# Give due honour to brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GET IT
Whilst it is imperative to GIVE IT (Honour), you also deserve to GET IT. However you do not wait to get it from others because it may never be given. I propose that you get it by honouring yourself. Nothing should reduce your value, not even the colour of your skin, your gender, your ethnicity, your background or your origin. No one can add or take away your value. Just like a £20 note; fold it, squash it, kick it, spit on it, step on it, its value will never change. Trials, tribulations, pain, sickness, poverty etc do not take one iota of your value before God. Get rid of the spirit of self-hate. Refuse to mourn about your situations or curse the day you were born. Refuse to limit your value by the labels the world gives you or the negative self concept the devil tries to make you believe. Instead, learn to shower yourself with words of compliment.
# I am one of a kind
# I am an original and not a duplicate or photocopy of someone
# I am fearfully and wonderfully made
# I am not an afterthought or a statistic in this world
# I am proud to be me
# I am a full package that needs no additives to my skin colour
# I am a superior breed belonging to the bloodline of Christ
# Blessed is the day I was born
3. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GROW IT
Ability to honour does not come by accident. It was instilled into you by your parents, the school and the community. You and I have a responsibility to PASS IT ON to future generations. You have to grow it in your children who will in turn grow it their children and their children’s children.
# Grow it by being a MODEL to your children (80%)
# Grow the other 20% through other channels
# Grow it by setting rules and boundaries
# Grow it by positive reinforcement
# Grow it by instilling it rather than enforcing it
# Grow it by teaching and training
# Grow it during the attachment and detachment periods of parenting
ITS TIME TO GO BACK TO THE HONOUR CODE.