Common courtesy is becoming less common every day. And that is not good, because the Bible says, "Be courteous...that you may inherit a blessing." Sometimes, we are 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 you...to love kindness" [Micah 6:8]. 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 do not learn common courtesy from you, where are they going to learn it?
- Go out of your way to speak to people. "Pleasant words are...healing' [Proverbs 16:24].
- Try to remember their names. It shows you value them.
- Smile; it increases your 'face value'.
- Be friendly and helpful. If you do, people will return it [Proverbs 16:24].
- Show genuine interest. You can find something good in almost anybody, if you try [Philippians 4:8].
- Be generous with your praise and cautious with your criticism.
- Be slow to judge. There are three sides to every story; your side, their side, and the right side.
- Instead of 'using' others, serve them: 'By love serve one another' [Galatians 5:13].
- Start trusting people. It builds lasting relationships.
- Be humble. Oswald Chambers said, "When a saint becomes conscious of being a saint, something has gone wrong."
Courtesy does two things:
- It speaks well of your parents. Jesus said, "Live so that people will...praise your Father" [Matthew 5:16].
- It determines your level of blessing. "Be courteous...that you may inherit a blessing."