Friday, July 25, 2014
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"When I was young..." Kids hate those words. If you're a parent, I'll bet your kids do. But here I go. I'm going to do it anyway. When I was young, there was this woman named Emily Post, and she was the expert on etiquette. And so, we would often ask, "Well, what does Emily Post say we're supposed to do in this situation?"
From Emily we learned that we, men, were supposed to open doors for women. We're supposed to walk on the outside when you're walking with a woman in sort of this protective role. You should be saying "please" and "thank you" regularly. Now, today, Emily Post is right next to the dinosaurs in the National History Museum. Maybe she's been consigned there. Then along came a replacement named Miss Manners. Unfortunately, Miss Manners would have an uphill struggle in our culture today, because we live in a world of fast food, fast track, and me first. So who's got time for courtesy any more? The King's kids do.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Royal Treatment."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Corinthians 10. And before we take a look at it, let's take a look at the generation we're living in. I mean, we live in a world where courtesy seems to be kind of burdensome and trivial, and even unknown to a lot of people. People think that's a lot of unnecessary, picky little rules. And you say, "Well, who says I'm supposed to do this at dinner? Who says I'm supposed to treat a girl this way? Who says I'm supposed to say that?"
Well, let's take a look at the lifestyle of a King's kid; someone who knows the King of kings personally through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24. "Everything is permissible..." Paul says, "...but not everything is beneficial." In other words, he comments here on the attitude that says, "Hey, listen! I can do what I feel like. Who needs rules? Who needs boundaries?" He says, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others."
Verse 33, "Even as I try to please everybody in every way..." He's saying, "I want to be a pleasing person. I'm not seeking my own good, but the good of many so that they may be saved." Verse 31, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." Now, he's not talking here about some little rules you have to follow because some Emily Post or Miss Manners or rule book said you have to. It's just having an attitude of doing the things that put the other person first; that's sensitive to how they're going to respond, how this is going to make them feel. That's what courtesy is...even reaching to how I eat and drink. It's like caring about your feelings.
I have a higher reason to learn courtesy than satisfying some etiquette book. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to make you feel comfortable. I want to make you feel special. I want to make you feel relaxed. I want to make you feel like royalty. We're living in a world where people are treated shabbily. They're treated cheap. They feel cheap, and they act cheap.
But as a follower of Jesus, I above all others ought to let the other guy go ahead of me. I should be the one who treats a woman like a queen, even if it's just the lady checking out my groceries at the store. If I'm going to put other people first, I'm going to say "thank you." I'm going to write the note that says "thank you" to them and not just act like I'm entitled to what they gave me. I'll say, "excuse me." I'll eat with grace, so that some of them may even be saved because they have been treated and put first.
You're going to be a standout if you are a courteous person. You will have, honestly, a refreshing edge on a lot of other people. You don't have to fall into the barnyard manners of our "selfie" society. Because you're a King's kid, give people royal treatment.