Virtues are the divine gifts within us that enable us to practice moral excellence and to benefit others. Honor is a virtue and I believe it is one that has been forgotten in the West.


We have all but lost sight of that which is honorable. We have a hazy concept of honor whether we are a Millennial or an elderly Baby Boomer. Many might suggest it is a code of conduct or the character of a mannerly gentleman. Some would say it is doing the right thing. A few might say an honorable person lives by a higher standard of moral and ethical absolutes.

On one hand, they are all correct, yet on another, they are not. That should not surprise us. After all, where do we see honor? Is it displayed in the marketplace? How often do we see it in the arts and entertainment? Or on the sports field? Is it broadcast into our living rooms every evening?

To witness an act of honor is an uncommon event and to see it on the news is just as rare. The more sensational or controversial the news, the more advertising dollars the TV networks earn. An uplifting feel-good story usually doesn’t make the cut. However, during a national crisis, an honorable story usually makes the headlines.

On September 11, 2001, New York City firefighters courageously entered the crumbling WTC towers as others scrambled to flee them. The firefighters wilfully faced the danger, knowing they might have to pay the ultimate price for the sake of others. Many of them did. And the media honored them by reporting their acts of heroism.

Like the soldier, the occupation of a firefighter is performed by a very small segment of society. The one percent. They are the honorable ones who rise to the occasion. The one percent are the ones who run toward the sound of guns or burning buildings.

Why is true honor seen only in times of crisis instead of more regularly in society?

The enlightened West has essentially done away with morality, and values have become self-centered preferences. Tolerance is the greatest virtue today and represents the PC way of enabling others to do whatever they please.

The last vestiges of honor in the West were seen in Victorian England a hundred and fifty years ago. The British Empire stretched across the world and brought greater technology, education, and quality of life to many. Slavery was abolished in all its territories and the rights of the common man were codified into law.

An English gentleman wouldn’t hesitate to obey orders on the battlefield or lay his jacket over a street puddle for a lady. During the reign of Queen Victoria, a lady’s goal was chastity and dignity. Yet today, when most people hear about Victoria they think of a secret fetish for sexy lingerie.

This is the time to restore the forgotten virtue of honor. The virtue practiced by the wise and mighty from long ago. A lifestyle which is counter-culture in today’s world.

Petition:  O’ Lord, help us to conduct ourselves honorably in our public and private lives and to honor others.

2 thoughts on “THE FORGOTTEN VIRTUE”

  1. Thanks, Garry, for this blog. In looking at this topic of honor some time ago, I found I Timothy 4:7-8 to be very helpful. The term “godliness” as translated by the NASB and other translations is from the Greek “eusibia” meaning to have a healthy reverence for God. Essentially, eusibia means to honor God. When we honor God in all aspects of our life we will obey, serve, worship, and consider His word and guidance in everything we do. From this flows the need to honor others–to serve them with kindness, patience, deference, love and good will. Then finally, when we honor ourselves in healthy ways we will always do what’s right. We will take care of the body/life that God gave us and steward his gifts faithfully. When a person will do these three things–honor God, honor others, and honor themselves (in a healthy way)–they will rise to significant heights of leadership because they will manifest the highest virtues and qualities that organizations require in their seniors. Godliness is profitable in all things.

    1. Hey Chet, that’s great advice for me to include in my writing as well as in my everyday life. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. To honor God, to honor others, and to honor ourselves is all part of Christ’s royal law of love. And it’s the good doctrine Scripture commands us to teach others (v.11). Our world would be a better place if we did. Maybe we should write that book on virtue-based leadership.

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