A thankful heart and a respectful manner make life better for everyone.
Posted in , Sep 20, 2017
Children often forget their manners—and sometimes adults do as well—but manners make a huge difference in our everyday lives. I’d never thought about it before, but God does an amazing job of teaching us manners in His Word.
He tells us to have a thankful heart. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The words “thank you” are so simple, but they mean so much to the recipient. Today would be a great opportunity to thank Him for all the things we so often take for granted. And it would be a wonderful time to thank those who’ve impacted our lives in big and little ways.
In Philippians 2:14, He advises us to not be grumblers, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.” Nobody likes to hear someone grumble and complain all the time. The Children of Israel did that to Moses about the manna that God sent to feed them. Instead of being thankful that they had food—that they weren’t going hungry—they complained about what they were eating. I know there have been many instances when I’ve grumbled about circumstances—and then realized later that what God had sent me was far better than what I’d wanted. Having that truly thankful heart will keep us from having a complaining spirit.
God wants us to be respectful to others. That includes teachers, bosses, co-workers, siblings and parents. In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, He tells us, “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” I love how being respectful leads to peace.
He tells us to be kind—and the cool thing is that there’s a bonus in that for us. Proverbs 11:17 says, “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.”
The words we say are important—and even the way that we say them. Words like “I’m sorry” or “I appreciate you” go a long way in relationships. In Psalm 19:14, the Bible says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Words can uplift or defeat us—and often what we say can be remembered for the rest of someone’s life. I want my words to be remembered in a good way.
A refresher course in manners is good for all of us—especially when it’s God giving the lesson. Can you imagine a society where all of us treated other people in a kind and mannerly way? It would be awesome…and there’s no reason why we can’t impact our world like that. Maybe you’d like to join me today in saying, “I want it to begin with me.”
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader