Sunday, March 5, 2017

Courteous

There’s a word that has been rolling around in my heart lately that I can’t shake. It’s an attitude or a lifestyle, maybe even an art of living but it all comes down to one word—courtesy.
I think God is calling us to live a kind, honorable and considerate lifestyle. He values when we value others. Romans 12:10 commands that “we honor one another above ourselves.” Philippians 2:3-4 challenges us “in humility [to] consider others better than ourselves.” The problem is that we have a lack of leadership in this area and even fewer real life models of living honor out each day. We live in a selfish generation—one who wants every benefit of hard work without actually doing the work. Thank you notes are becoming as extinct as the dinosaurs. Please, thank you and you're welcome have been replaced by give meit should be mine and if I have too. We have every advantage, every technology, every opportunity out there, yet we live in such a perpetual state of ingratitude.
As Christ followers, I believe we are called to a higher standard in this world. We are to strive to live as honorable vessels and with a servant’s heart but most of the time we look no different than the world. I read through some old notes from a sermon about honor and loved this statement: “We don’t need to talk, look, speak, complain, tweet, post, act, prioritize and live like everybody else; we are to be vessels of honor.” It went on to say that “every day we should humble ourselves, crucify our pride, esteem someone else, serve someone else and put God’s will above our own” (“With Honor” Series, Pastor Chris Hodges).
This topic is not on my heart because I think I have it down; I just think God is calling us to more.  I don’t think everyone constantly lives with a me first mentality but I do think we can all do better.  I think we can all be challenged to look inside ourselves and evaluate how we treat one another; especially those who we stand to benefit no gain from. Let’s start looking at others as God's priceless people. Let’s see the potential before the diamond is polished.
I made a list of ways to value others, ways to honor and other phrases I liked or thought could be a reminder. Please ponder, pray and take some to heart. Let’s be courteous.
Courteous Living:
Honor God
Honor Others
Honor Authority- Instead of saying all cops are out to get me, tell yourself they are the reason you can sleep at night
Honor your Workplace and School- You are there for a reason
Honor Family
Honor Parents
Honor Age-Respect elderly; mentor young
Honor Nature-Protect God’s creation
Take time to say hello
Look at the people you pass and acknowledge their presence
Answer texts, phone calls and emails, even if it is delayed or short-responding tells them you value what they said or asked
Make a point to really listen to what they are saying
Be interested in them
Learn something new about someone when you are with them
Let someone else pick
Include those who aren’t usually included
Check on them from time to time
Be the one to reconnect
Call or write them a note just because
When they do something for you or reach out, be appreciative
Compliment them
Actually pray when they ask you to pray
Smile
Thank them
Tell them what you like about them
Put their needs and feelings first
Don’t always talk about yourself and dominate the conversation
Don’t tell them you’re too busy, can’t find time or just have a second…carve out for real, actual time for them even if it isn’t right then
Follow through on your promises and commitments
Don’t give everybody else you best and your family your worst
Find out how they really are
Don’t make them feel less than, dumb or unworthy
Teach them and invest in them
Try to understand the situation, their actions and responses
Build up and speak life
Walk a mile in their shoes
Always be a kind word
See it from their perspective
Don’t leave before something is over
Be sensitive to what else is going on
Be generous
Apologize, praise and congratulate freely
Remember the basics: Please. Thank You. I’m Sorry.
Show Humility
Make an effort to use and remember people’s names
Reply to all invitations you get, because no reply leaves people hanging
Express gratitude for work well done
Follow up
Run the extra mile for people
Be polite
Be nice
Personalize and Customize
Remember things about people
Practice empathy
Choose your words carefully
Do nice things for people
Share
Be considerate of other people’s financial situations
Act with compassion and kindness
Be Genuinely Thankful
Enjoy their Company
Be sensitive to their needs
Be faithful and loyal
Fondly Reminisce
Consistently Love
Freely Forgive
Patiently Listen
Regularly Contact
Treat people as special
Do more than what’s expected
Be the hands and feet of Christ
-Only Hope

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