The word “alter” means to change in a way that is significant, a way that counts. You can change the paint colour of a building, but if you start dealing with the structure – that’s altering it.
To alter something to fit in with someone else is another way of showing honour. You alter the way you do things to be part of something larger than yourself, to gain access to someone, or to learn better from someone, that is a huge way of showing honour. Conversely, should you fail to adapt and alter yourself and insist on things being your way – that is a clear sign you are not honouring others.
When Joseph was due to appear before Pharaoh, we find out “he shaved himself and changed his raiment” first (Genesis 41.14). When you work for someone and you want to honour them, you need to alter yourself to fit in to their environment. The Egyptians did not like facial hair, whereas Israelites loved their beards. Joseph altered from what he wanted to what was the environment he was inside. It was a sign that he was honouring Pharaoh. He decided not to wear prison clothes in a palace!
When you are honouring your employer or pastor, or the head of any community or organization you want to be part of, it is important you learn that you are the one that alters. If your boss does not use WhatsApp but uses email, then email him! Find the technology that they are on and get on it. That is altering yourself to honour! Do not let stubborn pride cause you to stick with what you know, and keep your beard, shave it off if it causes honour! Do not care how important it is to you, honour is more important!
I have several friends and mentors in America, to communicate with them with the time difference I sometimes have to contact them at strange hours for myself, but I will alter my preferences and schedule for them. That is honour! I was part of a church once where the assistant pastor could not change his hours to help supporth the lead pastor, it was a lack of honour.
When I meet Robert Maasbach, I drive over an hour to meet him at a restaurant local to him, I am careful to go to places he likes to eat. That is altering, that is honour. Daniel altered his chocie of food to appear before the king. I know people who cannot alter their food choices. I have travelled the world and I find it honours people to eat what is set before you.
Talking of Daniel, he also went by the name Belteshazzar in Babylon, not Daniel. If you have to alter your name if you want to succeed in a strange land, or with other people. The king clearly could not pronounce or did not want to use the Jewish names so he just gave them his own names. That’s not really good leadership, but true honour does not wait for someone to do what is perfect before altering! It would have not been honour to reject the king’s name for you!
Altering is an important way to show honour. Being able to lay down your lifestyle to elevate someone else is one of the most powerful ways of showing honour.