Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Practice courtesy

"Be courteous...that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:9 NKJV

Common courtesy is becoming less common every day. And that's not good, because the Bible says, "Be courteous...that you may inherit a blessing." Sometimes we're not sure how to go about pleasing God. Preachers have made it complicated: a series of long-drawn-out, deeply painful acts designed to appease a God who delights in making us squirm. The prophet Micah simplifies it: "What does the Lord require of love kindness" (Mic 6:8 NAS). Could language be clearer? Here are ten "not-so-common" courtesies you should work on every day, and teach your children. After all, if they don't learn common courtesy from you, where are they going to learn it?

(1) Go out of your way to speak to people. "Pleasant words are...healing" (Pr 16:24 NIV). (2) Try to remember their names - it shows you value them. (3) Smile; it increases your "face value." (4) Be friendly and helpful. If you do, people will return it (See Pr 18:24). (5) Show genuine interest. You can find something good in almost anybody, if you try (Php 4:8). (6) Be generous with your praise and cautious with your criticism. (7) Be slow to judge. There are three sides to every story - your side, their side, and the right side. (8) Instead of "using" others, serve them: "By love serve one another" (Gal 5:13). (9) Start trusting people - it builds lasting relationships. (10) Be humble. Oswald Chambers said, "When a saint becomes conscious of being a saint, something has gone wrong."

Courtesy does two things: (a) It speaks well of your parents. Jesus said, "Live so that [people] will...praise your Father" (Mt 5:16 NCV). (b) It determines your level of blessing. "Be courteous ...that you may inherit a blessing."

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