Honor is a lost art in America. It is too often denied and delayed. The concept of honor has once again been brought to the forefront as the motion picture academy struggles to explain why Farrah Fawcett was omitted from their Oscar’s tribute to members of the industry who had died in 2009. It is revived again as a committee in Texas decides who will merit placement in the telling of American history in textbooks to be distributed nationwide. It was on display this week as over 1,000 female Air Force service pilots finally received recognition when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal that they so richly deserved.

To honor is to express respect. It is a recognition of the value of another. As a culture we reserve such expressions for moments marked by finality. We are comfortable sharing our feelings of love and appreciation at retirement ceremonies and funeral services. The word honor is often never heard because it comes too late, resulting in the greatest of all regrets unexpressed love.

Dishonor is prevalent on the national scene. Our public leaders are fodder for late night comedians. Parents are blamed for all our woes. The elderly are under-valued and neglected. The scriptures tell us to honor all people, to love one another, to fear God and honor those in authority. It is a prescription for a healthy society. It does not mean that we will agree or that others have earned honor but it eliminates the hate based, disrespectful dialogue that is so prevalent today.

To merely recognize the need for honor is to fall short. It is a way of life. Its target is as near as a family figure, a mentor or a friend. Honor disarms, heals and strengthens. It calls forth the best in all of us.

Rev. Bill Shuler is pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. For more visit Capital Life.org.

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