January 4, 2020

A Call to Honor

This morning I started thinking about the loss of even the discussion of “honor.” It seems to have been removed from the American lexicon. Being raised in the military, the ideal of being honorable was always there, and the specter of falling into dishonor was a looming presence.

I talk a great deal about repentance, that everyone is broken, everyone makes mistakes, everyone is self-interested and everyone does intentional wrong. But that God has called us all to repentance, as is described in Numbers 5:5-7:

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person realizes his guilt, he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.”

The way we taught it to our boys from their early days, is that when we do wrong, and it is brought to our attention either by our on conscience, by someone who holds us accountable, or by someone we have wronged, we are to:

1. Stop the wrong that we are doing.

2. Admit to what we did wrong (to the person we wronged and to God – Confession)

3. Clean up our mess, and make it a little bit better than it was before your breach.

This is the standard of behavior that we have set for our sons, and it has born great fruit in their lives. For all their flaws, low character is not one of them. Not even for Chandler with full syndrome “autism.” When they are confronted on any breach, they cop to it, apologize, and go back to fix it.

Chandler so much so that when you give him the smallest correction his knee jerk reaction is yell, “Sorry!” like a started rabbit before he even is completely confronted. Then he will go back and process. You could accuse him of taking the Lindbergh baby and fifty percent chance he would yell, “Sorry!” having no idea what you are talking about. We are teaching him to not apologize before learning the substance of the complaint. It is a good problem to have with a son.

But other than making them memorize Philippians 4:8 we have not really even used the phrase or concept of “honor” with our own boys. We have challenged them to become men of character, but have even failed to tell them that being “Men of Honor” is a thing. I began correcting that today.

And it made me realize that while being a woman of honor has been instilled in me since birth (and my failures to do so at times can still be a source of great guilt for me despite the fact that I have repented before God and man, and been forgiven), I have allowed the word to fall out of my own vocabulary.

Outside of the military, I think that the discussion in the secular world of being a person of honor has all but vanished from the American conversation. Even in the internet age, where everything is discussed everywhere.

Some of us were never raised with any kind of call to honor.

And when I think about those that we want and need most to be honorable, our leaders, it is work to find one that I could honestly describe as honorable.

Ron Paul. Hands down. No question. Ron Paul is an honorable man.

Jimmy Carter is the last president that I can call an honorable man. He was not a good president, but he was an honorable man.

Calvin Coolidge. Ike. Adams?

I love Jefferson, but he was not honorable.

George Washington.

Point being, it is rare even in our presidents.

Today we prize winning, not honor. Money, not self-sacrifice. The spotlight, not humility.

We have not only been convinced that shame is wrong (I am a bad person), but that guilt is wrong (I have done a bad thing.) It is perfectly acceptable to believe that no matter how badly one behaves, that they are a “good person” and that they should never feel shame OR even guilt. To claim that any selfish, wrong or criminal thing that one has done is acceptable using any “greater good” excuse that one can conjure up in their mind.

We cultivate sociopathy.

Offit, Hotez, Pan... Dorit can greater good herself all the way to the legal justification of vaccination at gunpoint. They are not made to fell guilt for telling a lie, nor shame being inveterate liars, but instead they are held out by the medical field as its thinkers and teachers that others should look to for guidance. They should not be esteemed by anyone. But they are held out as those who should teach medical and legal ethics.

Modern American mainstream medicine does not honor the healers, it honors the liars. It honors the dishonorable.

Their entire medical conversation is bereft of even the concept of honor. Doctors are actively taught to behave dishonorably, and justify it by claiming a greater good.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” - Isaiah 5:20

Let us never be like them. Let us prize honor, and work to reclaim it when it is lost in our lives.

Today I challenged my sons to always strive to be men of honor, I am challenging myself to ask myself more regularly if my actions are honorable, and I want to challenge us all in 2020 bring the concept of honor back into our lives, and become more honorable people.

Even when dealing with the dishonorable, and we have been subject to the crimes of the dishonorable in our community, their ongoing corruption that springs from having no conscience in medical and legal matters, for a very long time. They do what they want, and there is not anything that they cannot justify by simply deciding that, “it's for the greater good.”

Greater good justifications are merely excuses to do things that are wrong, and they are incompatible with any standard of honor.

Even if we were not taught that honor was of value, we can change our standards and expectations of ourselves to become those of honor, and those of repentance when we fail to be honorable.

So I challenge us all to consider our standards and see if they are ones that can be called honorable. To strive to be men and women of honor.

Even when it costs us.

Especially when it costs us.

37 comments:

Linda Blossom said...

Well stated. I recently reflected on something that I had always accepted without really realizing that it was a belief I held. I had grown up in the 50 and 60’s thinking that the president should be a role model for the children. That certainly is no longer the case. I agree that Jimmy Carter was and is a good person but maybe a bad politician which made him a less than effective president. Sad distinction I think.

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