Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Courtesy?
"Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically."1
It has been said that the job of the preacher is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable! So here goes!
I often hold the door open for people when entering or exiting a restaurant or store—be it for a woman or a man, the young or the old, a boy or a girl. Most are appreciative and say thank you, but quite a few don't bother to say anything. I'm often tempted to say, "You're welcome," anyhow, but bite my tongue.
And it never ceases to amaze me how many people ask me via email to do something for them without saying please, thank you, or anything courteous—not to mention drivers who cut in front of you on the highway, etc., etc.
Or like I've said before about the many people who just leave their shopping cart out in the parking lot for someone else to put away … some even leave them in car parking spaces. And what about people who throw their garbage out of their car window and litter the magnificent highways we are so privileged to have, at least where I live? And what about those who dump their empty beer and soft drink cans and trash along hiking trails in our beautiful forest and mountain areas?
I can't help but wonder how these self-centered, thoughtless folk act at home?
Whatever happened to old-fashioned courtesy—thinking of others, saying please and thank you, cleaning up our own messes, picking things up after ourselves, and fixing what we break?
In the early church Christians were known for their love for one another. Would to God that this were true today. Love is always expressed, not in what we say or in what we believe in, but in what we do and how we treat others. And I don't think we can have love without courtesy and thoughtfulness towards others. Furthermore, it's the little things—not the big things we do—that define who we really are.
Let's make sure we reflect the love of God and Spirit of Christ in everything we do and say. "WWJD—what would Jesus do?" is still a good principle by which to live.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, again today I pray, please help me to be as Jesus to every life I touch and give me the wisdom to know what you would do in situations where I am not sure how to act. May I be known for my love and concern for others and always be Christ-like and courteous in every situation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 12:9-11 (NLT).