9-22-2019 Christ Honoring Etiquette


September 22, 2019


I’ve watched it grow over the years. At first it was the exception but now, its common place. One would think that age would make a difference… sorry elders, it doesn’t. One would think a solid upbringing would be a factor… not so. One would also think that being a Christian would influence it… too often you can nix that one too. Oh, by the way, what I’m referring to is etiquette.


As I reflect back on a thousand flights I’ve flown over the years, I can still see passengers in the rear of the aircraft barging their way to the front as soon as the plane comes to a stop at the gate. Etiquette dictates you wait till the row ahead of you moves to the aisle and then you move. Those of us who flew frequently mumble… tourists!


How frequently have you been at a stop light and if you delay entering the intersection for more than 2 seconds on ‘green’ (which is necessary because to so many, “red” means anything but ‘stop’) do the horns begin to blare. Or enter a 4 way stop and someone rather than wait their turn rolls up and then busts their way through. I’m actually surprised that there are not more accidents than there are since no one slows down even a minuscule amount if someone pulls out in front of them. I can’t read minds but my guess is they’re inner person is screaming, “How dare you inconvenience me, I’ll show you” as they ride your bumper.


It occurs even on lakes (you knew I was getting there). It occurs fisherman to fisherman, speed boat and personal watercraft to fisherman and speed craft to speed craft. I see it every time I’m out. There seems to be no forethought as to how our actions will impact others. Yet God’s Word tells us our deeds should be just the opposite…


Matthew 7:12 (NASB)
12 "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, …


Notice the command doesn’t differentiate whether you’re in the right or wrong… or if the person responds with an improper hand gesture or a wave of apology… or even if you are in a hurry, late for an appointment, or having a bad day. The command begins with “In everything…”


It’s tragic because evidence exhibits that even those who proclaim a relationship with Christ too frequently interpret this command as “Do unto others before they have a chance to do you first”. How sad it is when even brothers and sisters in Christ fall into this trap. Unfortunately, its not all that new and getting worse. Paul reminds us…


Romans 12:1-3 (NASB)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.


Are there abrasive people in this world… yes. Is it easy to become frustrated when we see or become the victim of those who abuse etiquette… yes. Is revenge ever acceptable… NO! In any circumstance, but especially among fellow believers.


Important? Yes, so much so, Jesus prayed for us concerning this exact issue…


John 17:22-23 (NASB)
22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.


If Christ felt strongly enough to pray for us… and continues to advocate for us, … shouldn’t we live “in everything” according to His will?

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry