Posted by: everynation | November 29, 2010

Giving Honor

by Dave Hess

I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of honor lately. Sadly, I think showing-honor is almost a lost art, especially among those my age and younger. Too many times we young people come across as really impressed with ourselves and apparently forget the contribution of so many who have helped us get where we are in life. [Craig Groeschel spoke on the topic of honor at Catalyst this year, and Steve Murrell spoke about it earlier in the summer at the Every Nation conference in Manila. (The video of Pastor Steve’s talk is available online.)]

Perhaps we think that we are smarter than the older generation because we are a little more technologically savvy. Or maybe we’re just plain arrogant. Whatever the reason, we must not forget that everything that in all our accomplishments we are “standing on the shoulders” of those who have gone before us and have helped us.

I have been influenced and learned from so many people over the years, and am thankful for all of them. Parents, teachers, coaches, parents of friends, mentors and even authors whom I have never met. I have been blessed by the advice, wisdom and example of so many amazing people. A few people who come to mind that I especially want to honor.

  • My parents, Elmer and Susan Hess. Things in our family were pretty rough at times, but I learned much from their example of faith in God. I would often be looking for my Mom or Dad only to discover my Dad privately in his room kneeled down praying. My mom was faithful to read the Bible and her example in life spoke much more than her words.
  • Ms. Metzger, my 5th grade teacher. She expected quality work, but was always positive and fair.
  • Ms. Tysiachney, my middle school English teacher. She taught me the basics about writing a research paper, which seemed like an impossible task at the time. She helped encourage me in the baby steps. (I not only made it through high school, but have since received a Master’s Degree! Who would have thought that was possible?)
  • My grandfather Bill Rhodes. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to drive a car, and then how to ride a motorcycle. On top of that he modeled manhood and a passion for learning that was contagious.
  • Gabe Bouch, the campus missionary who reached out to me when I was a newly arrived transfer student to FSU. He patiently put up with all my questions and what must have been aggravating doubts and unbelief. He prayed for me and took me through the Purple Book, and later believed in me enough to ask me to lead a small group with the campus ministry.
  • Manny Coya, the guy who stopped a game of tennis that we were playing and challenged me to step out into what God was putting on my heart and go into full time campus ministry.
  • Ron Miller, the pastor who trusted me to with the responsibility of leading a campus ministry chapter, and who continues to support and encourage me to this day. His example of unwavering perseverance is inspiring!
  • John Maxwell, whose many books on leadership have tremendously helped me to understand the nature  of leadership and the skills required to lead effectively.
  • Steve Murrell, whose example of servant leadership and commitment to discipleship has forever influenced the way I “do ministry”.
  • Mike and Christi McClure, who raised their daughter Katie and then allowed me to marry her. – They also facilitated a Financial Peace University class that gave me a plan and the wisdom to better order my finances. (Thanks to Dave Ramsey on this point as well!)

I want to live a life of gratitude and honor. I want to honor God, first and foremost, and then all those who have been used by God. (Though I am sure there are more of these than I even realize.) Without the obedience and faithfulness of many others, I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today.

Dave Hess currently leads Every Nation Campus Ministries outreaches to the college campuses in Tallahassee, Florida in the United States and serves as the Regional Director with ENCM in the Florida – Georgia region.

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