The director of the national Commission on Civic Renewal has said, “There is an overwhelming consensus among the American people that basic norms of good conduct have deteriorated in this country.” Some observers have concluded that disrespect has become an epidemic.
Have you noticed it where you live? On the highway? At sporting events? During public performances? Have we forgotten how to walk in the shoes of others, considering their rights and needs? Have we become brazenly “in your face” at the expense of being compassionately “in your place”?
First Corinthians 13 includes a quality of biblical love that is often overlooked. It “does not behave rudely” (v.5). This verse expands on the idea and says that love “does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” As one paraphrase puts it, “Love doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.”
We often think of love’s lofty, eternal, spiritual qualities and forget that the love God puts deep within us shows courtesy and consideration toward everyone we meet.
At a time when rudeness is on the rise, we need to begin an epidemic of love.
Christ's love is not puffed up, unkind;
It gladly will the broken bind;
It envies not, is patient still,
Delights to do the Father's will. —Stahl
The oil of courtesy takes the friction out of life.