Manners Matter

Most of the calls to our house phone are from tele-marketers and other sales persons. People who know us have access to our private numbers, through our mobile devices. With few exceptions, those who call the house phone begin by asking for a family member by first name only, or last name only. I recently received a call for my daughter, from someone who gave only my adult daughter's first name. No name given by the caller.

When I responded with "_____who?" the person failed to identify himself or leave a message. He said he'd try again later, then hung up.While understanding that he's trying to control the conversation, whatever happened to manners? Why didn't the caller first identify himself, before asking for my daughter?

Why am I saying all of this? We're living in a time where manners matter; good manners are an endangered species. A course in (good) manners would do people of all ages much good-besides what it would help. You get the point.

As a Christian I represent the Living God and His Kingdom, here on Earth. Although certainly not perfect I strive to be polite towards people of all ages, whether on the phone or in person. It's good for both them and myself: them because I'm showing respect; myself because showing good manners is another opportunity to walk in love-even when my feeling don't, well, feel like it. People like being on the receiving end of good manners.

Showing good manners is a subtle way to demonstrate the life of God through me. It's subtle, because I'm using right words and actions without being preachy. How many times have Christians been rude, unmannerly-even vulgar, only to be (rightfully) embarrassed when the other person(s) found out that Mr Rude or Ms. Potty Mouth is a Christian? Ouch!

I don't believe that this type of behavior leaves a good impression, or pleases God, do you?

As a child I was taught to identify myself when calling someone. I work at doing this today. Why? Because manners matter, starting with me.

In what ways could good manners open opportunities for sharing the Gospel?