In the restroom of the plane Margaret and I flew on recently was the simple sign that read, “As a courtesy to the next passenger may we suggest that you use your paper towel to wipe off the wash basin.”
One of the things that may discourage some of us is the lack of proper manners and common courtesy used today, even among other Christians.
Often missionaries will return to their home country, pastors to their church from overseas ministry, people to their own family after a conference, soldiers from the war, only to find that there is little or no interest from their family, Christian friends and home church. Very few, if any, will ask questions aside from “how are you?” and before you can answer, will be off to do something else or simply not listen for your answer.
Yes, this is rude, offensive and hurtful. We live in a very selfish world with most of us only interested in our little world and not in others.
When the shoe is on the other foot, let’s be sure we reach out to others, ask questions and show a real interest “for Christ sake” in others. I have been around missionaries, pastors, mission pastors, friends, and family who do not even talk. Their interest is mainly in themselves. This is not right, so how do we respond? The Word of God teaches that we are not to be easily offended but to be kind, loving, compassionate and humble, to reach out to others with compassionate care, to show common courtesy, respect and manners whether they do or not.
Is this matter important? Paul the Apostle seemed to think so as he (by the Holy Spirit) spent so much time writing a lot about common (but important) courtesies to others (Romans 12 and Philippians 2).
Perhaps God would use us to help our society, and even our Christian friends and family, to reach out to others with the grace of our Lord Jesus for His glory!