If change begins with me, then affability or civility starts with me.
Culturally we’ve somehow gotten to this space where an increasing number of people think it is okay to be mean spirited, angry, divisive, name calling, negative, rejecting, intolerant, impolite, rude, insulting, degrading, abusive, arrogant, injurious, malicious and slanderous. It’s sort of like our news, comedy, social media and conversations have deteriorated – they’re unsafe places.
Do we ridicule others to make us feel unthreatened in our insecurities? Ah, that’s a thought for another day.
I think we’re better than that or at least ought to be – especially Jesus followers. Maybe with a little intentionality, we can be courteous, polite, respectful, kinder, gracious, gentle, amiable, benevolent and even approachable.
So here a few tactical ideas I’m putting into practice:
- Think before I speak
- Listen to the opinion of others
- Take time to understand
- Be polite
- Express courtesy
- Disagree respectfully
- Apologize when wrong
- Choose to build; refuse to tear down
Paul’s words in Philippians 4:8 affect me strongly, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Let’s do better. Let’s be different. Let’s make a difference.