Manners Matter!! I totally believe this quote by Rick Warren, “There are eternal consequences to everything you do on earth. Every act in our lives strikes some chord that will vibrate in eternity!”
Plain and simple, having manners, teaching manners, and modeling manners are extremely important. Starting with myself, there has to be constant self-evaluation. Sometimes I feel as if I am a “frog in a boiling pot of water” and I don’t even realize it. Meaning, I have slowly let a manner or two go unchecked and all of a sudden the once important “manner” is unseen in my life. I then find myself as the “pot calling the kettle black!” Yep, it is easy to see the lack of manners in someone else when they are being rude and inconsiderate and it affects you. But how about when we are guilty of the same thing? Like pulling out in front of someone when you are in a hurry with the excuse, “I can’t wait any longer”? Or going to a check out line when it opens up and there has been someone waiting in line longer than you and you just think, “Sorry you didn’t pick the right line?”
This past Thursday, I was in line at “Stein Mart” in Athens, Georgia. As characterized by my life lately, I was in a big hurry. Our daughter, Collins, was just hours out of surgery and I had to leave her asleep and unattended to pick up meds at “CVS” and then run into “Stein Mart” to pick up something that was needed by her boyfriend. I was in the store two minutes, picked up what I needed, only to walk up and see 3 lines open with 4 people in line at each counter. I picked one and started looking at my phone to return a few texts to people who were checking on Collins. All of a sudden, an elderly gentleman and his wife tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Here, go in front of us. You have been waiting in line longer than us!” They were in line next to me but had chosen the line beside me just after I had walked up! My line had not moved. There was trouble with a return, and so, we were waiting. I looked at the KIND, SMILING FACES and said thank you and moved over! As I was being waited on, I turned to thank them once again. I told them that I really appreciated their “kindness, unselfishness, and other-orientedness (I think that is a word! if not, sorry!). They smiled and said, “Certainly.” I also told them how much it meant to me and that they had no idea how much I needed to get back to my daughter. They smiled even BIGGER.
As I drove home, I was humbled, sincerely humbled at their simple gift of KINDNESS AND ACT OF LOVE AND UNSELFISHNESS to a STRANGER, ME! It spoke VOLUMES TO ME ABOUT THEM and I don’t even know them. It spoke about their HEARTS!!!! What was on the INSIDE!! Proverbs 27:19, “As water reflects a man’s face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Their ACTIONS WERE SO LOUD, it continued to speak to me all week and weekend. I came home, took care of Collins and sat quietly the rest of the afternoon, looking in the mirror to examine my day to day life and asking God, WHERE CAN I REFLECT YOU MORE???
These two elderly people lived the verse in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Their simple actions of unselfishness……..have been used by God to SPEAK to me, so far, for 6 days. Simple manners, which are Biblical, and are so far removed in much of society today, can have a lasting impact on those around us. We are never too old, or too young, to teach and re-examine ourselves to make sure that our DAILY LIVES reflect simple acts of kindness and respect to SPEAK LOUDLY TO SOMEONE ELSE, EVEN A STRANGER, LIKE ME.