Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Courtesy is Contagious

Chuckle:  A little boy, doing homework, asked his dad, “where would I find the Andes?”  “Ask your mother,” said the dad.  “She puts everything away in this house.” 
Quote:  “Hail the small sweet courtesies of life, for smooth do they make the road of it.” –Laurence Sterne
    “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you”  (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).
The word “Courtesy” means friendliness, kindness, politeness in actions and speech,  good manners.  I like the following by Frank S. Hogan: “Courteous treatment is a recognition by one person that another person has the same dignity as a human being.  The practice of courtesy develops the habit of treating others as equals.  It is, therefore, more than a lubricant which prevents irritation between individuals of different backgrounds.  It becomes a solvent of the causes of friction and, when constantly applied, produces a positive force in the creation of good will.”
In our modern culture, it seems many people have forgotten the truth of what Publilius Syrus wrote in the first century before the birth of Christ: “You can accomplish by kindness (courtesy) what you cannot by force.”  Being courteous sounds like a small and simple thing for a Christian and should not be difficult to put into practice.  Life is full of small grievances which small doses of kindness and courtesy can eliminate.
I’ve noticed that major disputes between individuals often begin with minor and petty grievances, most of which can be resolved promptly with a small gestures of kindness and courtesy.  However, when minor differences are between discourteous people, they can fester and grow into major disputes and become almost impossible to resolve.  This is because, over time, the original grievance may fade and the issue can become a personal dislike for one another.  Then the participants begin to attack each other rather than dealing with the original grievance.  
I’m aware of two Christian men who let an adventuresome cow destroy their friendship and fellowship.  A cow belonging to one broke through a fence and ate some delicacies from the garden of the other.  Instead of coming together in brotherly love and in a courteous way to resolve the issue, they became angry and bitter and for years they rarely even spoke to one another.  How sad.  No doubt a show of love, kindness, and courtesy could have resolved the original issue promptly and amicably.
We can make a major contribution to the civility and harmony within our families, churches, and communities If we show the same courtesy to others that we would like to receive.

Love, Jerry & Dotse  


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