Friday, August 02, 2013

Be the Church (Love) - VIII

The next quality of love is stated differently in different versions: "not rude", "not act unbecomingly" and "does not dishonor" are some examples. It speaks to behaving in inappropriate or unsuitable ways.

Each culture has developed ways to allow people to interact with one another, ways that are considered appropriate or suitable by the culture. The English term given to such behavior is "common courtesy." Courtesy demonstrates respect, acceptance and recognition of other people. "Civility" is another term that has been thrown around recently describing this type of behavior.

Courtesy communicates acceptance and respect. It recognizes the basic humanity and rights of other people. It recognizes the worth of a person in spite of tremendous differences.

In American politics, courtesy has been strongly tested, because there are wide and varied views of the landscape. People have different priorities, different opinions about problems and solutions, and different assumptions of what is good, what is bad, what the end result should look like, and how best to get there. This gets people thinking that since others don't see what they see (which is as plain as the nose on their face), you are either stupid, don't care, or are just plain evil.

What the followers of Jesus need to see is someone that Jesus loves, bled and died for. We need to see that Jesus values those people and have the same heart Jesus did ... and the same attitudes and actions. We need to be willing to pray for and bless those Democrats, those Republicans, the Tea Party, homosexuals, drug dealers, George Zimmerman, Ariel Castro, and Muslim extremists, because Jesus died for each and every one of them. And acting with courtesy should display the heart of Jesus. And if we have the heart of Jesus, we will stand out like Jesus stood out.

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