I’m currently writing a book about healthy relationship practices based on the ‘one-anothers’ listed in the New Testament.

I thought I’d share with you a short extract on a recent chapter that I’ve written on ‘Honouring one another’. I hope it provides a good encouragement for life, continues to whet your appetite for the book to come, and to keep praying for creativity as I write 🙂


Extracts from ‘honouring one another’

It’s so easy to dig for dirt on each other’s lives, mining for gold takes more time and effort.

But there is gold in everybody.

All of us our fragile and broken – with the capacity to hurt and harm AND all of us have beauty and uniqueness with the capacity for goodness.

With this in mind, there’s a short New Testament verse that simply invites us to…

“Honour one another above yourselves. ”

It’s a classic ‘one another’ relationship practice, and this short sentence is worth unpacking a little as it helps us understand the why and the how of ‘honouring people’.

The word translated as ‘honour’ is a Greek word that literally means to ‘place a value or price on someone or something.’

Healthy relationships are rooted in the core belief that everybody is valuable and precious and beautiful in their own unique way – and so worthy of honour, dignity and respect.

How does this work out in practice?

The second Greek word which is translated – ‘above yourselves’ – literally means to put others first, to prioritise them, to put their needs above your own. Truly honouring people isn’t just a thought – it outworks in action.

If we truly honour and value people then we will act warmly and welcoming towards them.
We’ll make time for them.
We’ll be interested in their interests.
We’ll be keen to hear their opinion and perspective.
We’ll take time to listen – truly listen to them.

Wait for it…
This is a game-changer…

We’ll choose to think the best of them.

I remember reading Brene Brown’s outstanding book, Rising Strong, a few years back. In one particularly chapter, Brene challenged us in our attitudes to people. Do we think the best of people or the worst of people? Do we think people are giving their best, or not? It’s easy to quickly reply – “NO! They’re clearly not doing the best they can – and if they are, then their best sucks”. But Brene doesn’t let us off so easily. She writes…

“I really do believe that most of us are doing the very best we can with the tools we have. I believe we can grow and get better, but I also believe that most of us are really doing our best…This doesn’t mean that we stop helping people set goals or that we stop expecting people to grow and change. It means that we stop respecting and evaluating people based on what we think they should accomplish, and start respecting them for who they are and holding them accountable for what they’re actually doing. It means that we stop loving people for who they could be and start loving them for who they are. It means that sometimes when we’re beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.”

That’s treating people with honour.

There is something to celebrate in each one of us. Rather than just be critical and draw attention to people’s failings – what would it look like if we dared to believe that people are actually doing their best, and even if their best doesn’t appear good enough to us then rather than just criticise them, we commit to help their best to become even better. We think the best of people.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if everybody was committed to honour each other, putting the needs of others before their own? The world would be a very, very different place – hopefully, a much better place.