Are Good Manners a Small Matter?

Wearing a big grin on his little boy face, Tyler ran to his mother in the church foyer. “Mom, can I–?”

She held up her hand in a kindly way, and then turned back to the woman who was talking to her.

Tyler knew the signal.  It had something to do with not interrupting a conversation until invited to speak. Something his mother called good manners–courtesy. He guessed it was like saying “please” when he asked for anything and “thank you” when he got it.

He immediately fell silent and waited–if impatiently–for his turn to speak.

Was Tyler’s mother wrong to teach him the ways of courtesy? In today’s TV sitcoms and other media, good manners are a small matter.  We laugh at crude remarks and rude behavior. They are so common that they’ve become “the new normal.” So what’s all the fuss?

Just this: God doesn’t agree. His Word clearly tells us that love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5). It does not behave unseemly.

Imagine that! Good manners are a way we show love! Not only in our relationships with one another, but in our relationship with God. Yes, we should freely ask God for what we need, but with a humble word of please. And we should remember to thank him. But courtesy toward God is more than that.

Yet how many times, like exuberant Tyler,  do we rush into God’s Presence, blurting out our requests? While like a loving Father, God desires, and even invites us, to present our needs to him, his Word tells us the right way to do it. We are to approach him in love … with courtesy.

Focus: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise” ~ Psalm 100:4 (New Living Translation).

How about You? Do you agree that showing our love through good manners is still important? If so, what change would you suggest we as believers in Christ adopt to lead the way in today’s world?