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Loss of Honor

"Honor: A History," a new book written by James Bunting, deals with the importance of honor as a concept in the past and the loss of that sense of honor today. The Bible commonly uses honor (spelled "honour") in the sense of giving honor to someone else (as to God) or receiving honor from others (as in honoring our father and mother). The closest Bible word for what is meant by a sense of honor is the word honourable. To be honourable is to receive honor or to be worthy of receiving honor. Samuel was introduced to Saul as a man of God and "an honourable man" (1Samuel 9:6). Jabez, who prayed and received answer to his prayer, was "more honourable than his brethren" (1Chronicles 4:9). Joseph of Arimathaea was "an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God" (Mark 15:43). Honor is the opposite of shame in the Bible. Therefore, a sense of honor involves living in such a way as to avoid shameful acts and associations. The emphasis in the Bible on having a "good name" (Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1) embodies the idea of that sense of honor; that determination to act in an honourable way. George Washington was famous for the importance he placed on his reputation and honor. We long to see such honor today.