7 Tips for Honoring One Another
by Mark Votava
I have found that everyone wants to be honored and loved. In my life I want to seek out ways that I can be an expression of love in everyday life, especially toward the voiceless and marginalized. It seems that focusing on our commonalities and not our differences is important in the process.
The image of Christ lives in us all. We need to find this beautiful image in one another and honor it with everything we’ve got. I am finding that this is where a true, authentic love comes from when we can offer compassion, honor and reconciliation instead of criticism. We are all beloved of God and we need to constantly affirm this in one another as our world tends toward judgment, hatred, indifference and war.
Here are several ways we can honor one another in everyday life together.
1. Develop some solidarity with Christ
Christ was the ultimate image of humanity. He was a human being just like us. He breathed the same air. He walked the same earth.
He inhabited a place that shaped who he was. He slept and ate and drank. He had relationships.
He struggled with emotions. He laughed and cried. We were all made in his image and that is reflected in our humanity.
2. Tease out in one another the image of Christ
Our lives call out to the indwelling Christ in each of us in everyday life. We do that through grace. We are drawn to tease out in one another this image of Christ. How do we do that?
“Honor one another above yourselves …” (Romans 12:10).
3. See the image of humanity that lies deep within
Grace and honor will always lead to the communal imagination. When we honor others we will see the image of humanity that lies deep within them.
4. Be a sort of mirror for others
Jesuit Mark E. Thibodeaux says in his book Armchair Mystic, “I am to call forth the Christ I see in others and to be a sort of mirror for others so that they may see the image of God that they are …”
5. Embrace a spirit of reconciliation
When we see in each other the image of our humanity, there will be a spirit of reconciliation that constantly lives within us as we go about our everyday lives together in the parish. When we see the image of our humanity in each other, we will become better at relationships.
6. Become relational healers instead of destroyers of relationships
We will become practicing, relational healers in the place we inhabit instead of destroyers of relationships. This is a miracle of grace. When the body of Christ awakens to this, there will be all kinds of relational revelations taking place in our neighborhood in everyday life.
7. Offer compassion instead of criticism
Debra K. Farrington writes, “The acceptance of others begins by recognizing that each of us is a beloved child of God. If we can see that in each other we may be able to better appreciate the differences between us. We may even grow to love the differences. At the very least, if we can see what is precious within each other, we can begin to offer compassion instead of criticism.”
What makes it difficult to honor one another in everyday life?