Good Manners

When we think of good manners we think of children needing to learn them. We have a wonderful Manners Camp at our church coming up on July 20-22, 2020. It is for 3 year old preschoolers through rising 5th graders. It is fun and exciting to see these children learning proper manners. Perhaps we need to do a Manners Camp for adults? I have seen many adult Christians act improper at a restaurant. When Jesus dined out in the Bible, what did He do?

At the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus asked the disciples to be waiters and He helped organize the crowd (Matthew 14:13-21). At another dinner party Jesus filled a basin with water and began to wash the disciple’s feet. (John 13:1-7) One time Jesus was eating with the Pharisees and a woman who had an immoral and sinful past anointed Him with a costly perfume. Jesus gave her permission to interrupt the meal to worship Him. Jesus was never rude to others while dining. What about us? How many times have you seen a person of faith act like a non-believer at a meal? Max Lucado in his book, “Max on Life” gives us all 4 pointers when eating out at a restaurant. What would our Lord Jesus leave behind at a restaurant?

  • Encouragement to help him or her endure the struggles of their job. Pam and I had dinner at Cracker Barrel last week. We had a wonderful waiter who was just on time with everything. It is easy to encourage those waiters. But what about the others?
  • Forgiveness despite the mismatched orders and dirty spoon. Have you ever received the wrong order at a restaurant? I know we all probably have at some time. It happened to me one time and I wanted to keep what I got by mistake. I sent it back, but I was wishing I had kept it. Sometimes a mistake can be a blessing.
  • Eternity with a spoken word or an invitation to hear more. Jesus would speak eternal life changing words at a restaurant. When Jesus spoke anywhere the people who heard Him where hungry to hear more. When you and I go to a public place to have dinner do we speak words that encourage people to think of eternal things?
  • Thanks communicated clearly through a satisfactory gratuity. To leave a good gratuity or tip is just good manners. You need to bless someone who waits on you with a good gratuity.

Max Lucado writes, “Jesus understood what it meant to be a servant, and he would certainly serve the servants with kindness and respect.” Jesus once said in the gospel of Matthew 25:45, “Then He will answer them, truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” I would say that a waiter is the least of these and so is a child or student. Did you ever consider that how we treat waiters is a reflection on how we treat Jesus? Let’s all make a new commitment to have good Christ-like manners in public and in private. As the old hymn says, “Let others see Jesus in you.”

Blessings for good manners!

Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister

First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church