|Norjo Cafe, Monroe, MI|
To understand what God is doing in Christ it is important to understand honor/shame hierarchies.
Every culture has them. For example, when I was growing up I learned that we were "middle class." This meant there were people above us (better than us; better off than us), and people below us (worse than us; worse off than us).
The honor/shame hierarchy is the realm of all competition, comparison, jealousy, slander, flattery, pride, and shame. The soul of the kingdom of darkness is measurement on the honor/shame hierarchy.
In the kingdom of God honor/shame hierarchies do not exist. We see this in the song Mary sings, recorded in Luke chapter one. God, in his greatness and mercy,
The tearing down of the honor/shame hierarchy is magnificent and breathtaking! Now, in Christ, life is different. Eugene Peterson writes, "There are no higher levels in the life of Christ - only following him." (In Peterson and Dawn, The Unnecessary Pastor, 1%)
Just following Jesus, without competing. Cheering and championing one another along, with everyone wearing the victory crown.
To study honor/shame cultures go to honorshame.com.
In my book I share how a praying life lifts us off the prevailing honor/shame hierarchy - Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.
See also Leading the Presence-Driven Church.