"Good Manners"             

I Corinthians 15:33


     If I may be allowed to stretch the use of Paul's words to apply them in a very practical way to our daily lives, I would like for all who read this article to consider this question for a minute or two - What ever happened to good manners? Almost everyone you meet these days seems to be terribly rude and self-centered. Gone are the days when children do what they are told, sit quietly in the presence of adults, speak only when they are spoken to, or when they may do so without interrupting conversation, and address their superiors (Yes, I did say "SUPERIORS".) respectfully with words like, "Sir," "Maam," "Please," Thank you," etc. But I do not blame the children. It is a generation of thoughtless, self-centered, rude adults that raises a generation of thoughtless, self-centered, rude children. Each generation ought to teach the next, both by word and example, good manners. Above all other people, believers ought to be a people of good manners. Here are three areas that need attention.

     RESPECT others. Particularly respect should be shown to any who are superior to us in age or office. We should think of them, speak of them, and speak to them with the respect their position deserves.

     FRIENDLINESS is a trait that everyone appreciates. It costs nothing to smile,speak pleasantly,and communicate warmth to people.I cannot imagine meeting my family and parting company without speaking pleasantly to each member. Yet, many attend the house of God with people for weeks and months without speaking to them!We need to work on this. Friendliness begets friendliness.

     COURTESY is woefully lacking even among God's saints. That is shameful! I cannot imagine being ministered to by anyone, in anyway, either carnally or spiritually,without saying, "Thank you," and expressing it in such a way that the person I am addressing knows I mean it. After twenty-five years of marriage, I would not think of eating a dinner prepared by my wife and giving her the insult of leaving the table without saying, "Thank you," even if she accidentally prepared something I did not like. Yet, I see people all the time who are ministered to by others who never express a word of gratitude. To receive any service done for me or for anyone I care about without an expression of sincere gratitude is insulting rudeness.


Don Fortner