All of us, at some point or another, have seen folks who publicly have not displayed good manners. We’ve seen it in restaurants where people do not follow the rules of etiquette with their table manners. Things like licking your knife, chewing with your mouth open, talking with food in your mouth, eating before everyone gets their food, slurping your food, or even taking on too much food at one time. All of these are an improper display of manners. We’ve been in public places where folks are holding loud conversations on their phones distracting everyone within an ear-shot of the conversation. This is not good manners. We have all seen folks who take public displays of affection to the extreme and begin to display behaviors that should probably be reserved for more private settings. We have also all probably contacted a business to only have the ‘professional’ representative not display good phone manners with us. Instead their ‘professional’ behavior is condescending, offensive, and discourteous. It is quite frustrating.
I haven’t even mentioned good manners with driving. The amount of good etiquette today with driving is scarce. Impatient maneuvers, inconsiderate behaviors, and indecent communication abound with people and their cars and driving. It is just not good manners.
But did you know that bad manners are sometimes practiced by God’s children? I’m not referring to our eating, affection, phone interactions, or even driving (although many of us have been guilty!). I’m specifically referring to that notion of expressing gratitude for accomplished work.
In its most basic form, good manners are about consideration and respect. Good manners are the declaration that we respect others enough to display thought and sensitivity to them in how we conduct ourselves. One of the most thoughtless and offensive things in the world is to not say Thank You or express gratitude to people who have provided a service to you. It’s even more boorish and crude to not express appreciation when someone performs an act or completes a favor for you when it wasn’t even expected, mandated, or necessary. When they do it out of the kindness of their heart, it should be expected that gratitude is the rightful response.
Psalms 92: 1, the writer shares, “It is a good thing to give thanks.” At all times, in all cases it is the PROPER thing to do – give thanks to God. For his righteousness, right treatment, and right care of His children.
Like a good newspaper editor, the John Gill Commentary shares,
“For all mercies, temporal and spiritual; for Christ, and salvation by him; for the Gospel, and for Gospel opportunities and ordinances;… it is due unto him, and is our reasonable service; it is well pleasing unto God through Christ; it is pleasant work for the saints themselves, and is profitable unto them; to be thankful for what they have is the way to have more.”
As I have taught my children, when there is no gratitude expressed, there is the assumption that they are ungrateful or unmindful of what it took for them to receive what they’ve received. I have also shared with them that there is the possibility that some ‘blessings’ within our home may no longer be extended if there is consistent ingratitude. I am attempting to imbed good manners in them.
Although God is creator and a BIG God, he rightly deserves our good manners. Good manners to God are a reasonable expectation in return for all of the work that He does for us.
Worship is what we attribute to God because of His nature and character. Thanksgiving is personalized praise for the individual works of God in our lives. Praise is a general act of admiration for the general work that He performs. He is due each of these – worship, praise, and thanksgiving. If by chance, you have not been displaying good manners, it is never too late. As a matter of fact, it is also very simple. It starts with humble and modest statements like, “Thank You”, “I appreciate you”, and “You’re awesome”. Simple statements that simply display good manners.
Scripture of the Day: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;” – Psalm 92:1