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Mind Your Manners The Biblical Wisdom of Mastering Social Etiquette

The Bible teaches that men and women are supposed to live "wisely," where the chief idea behind the word for wisdom is "skill." The scripture portrays living wisely as the ongoing process of better conforming our lives to the rules laid down in the Bible for relating both to God and others in terms of "love"-- or better, "charity" and justice. Humans rarely master this skill set. We're a silly lot.To treat others this way, a wise man must take time to give thought to his ways, and to the needs of others. The Bible especially requires this of husbands, upon whom it calls to live considerately with their wives.

Giving thought to the wants and needs of others identifies what the Bible calls "being considerate." The word embedded in this phrase, "consider" means to ponder, think on, study, examine, reflect upon and analyze, etc., where the goal of such charitable scrutiny targets someone other than "me.".Obviously, in order to learn to treat others this way, we are going to have to venture into areas of social relations often called "manners" and "social etiquette." The Word of God requires men to study of this aspect of human relations as a good and necessary consequence of the commands to "love one another," "love your neighbor as yourself," and "be considerate as you live with your wife.

" So here, I have researched and presented a few rules of basic etiquette gleaned from the pages of the Bible itself, and from a brief study of various sources on the internet to muster some good ideas on the topic. Here they are, with brief commentary.1. First of all, smile often.You probably haven't thought of "smiling" as a Christian duty, but it actually is.

Since God commands us to do to others as we would have them do to us -- and since we all like to see smiling faces -- we are therefore commanded to smile. The Bible says that joy represents the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and smiles can always be found attending a joyful heart only a few paces behind. So, husbands, listen up.

Smile at your wife often. This is not an optional suggestion because life is not a rehearsal. You must smile often to live well.

2. Memorize and use other people's names when speaking with them.In the Bible, names are very important, since the meaning of the name aims to characterize the person so labeled. It tends to establish a reputation; thus the holy Scripture often interchanges the terms "name" and "reputation" (see Proverbs 20:15). Thus, each of us is personally and intimately invested in our names. Keep this in mind when talking to others.

Their names carry great import to them; so they should also matter to you. Take care to remember the names of people you meet, and use them when appropriate. This tells the person you are talking with that he or she is important. This is true if for no other reason than the fact that all of us are made in God's image, and it is our duty to honor the divine image.3.

Receive compliments graciously, and compliment others skillfully. Complimentary words should be returned in kind. If someone says to you, "You are smart," you ought to reply, "Thank you for your kind words." This not only humbly accepts the compliment, but implies that they are kind (a compliment also) in return. Do not try to play down, evade or refute the point.

The bible says, "Let another mouth praise you . and not your own." "Let" means permit it, and receive it graciously.4. Exercise personal and familial discretion (avoid gossip).

Do not relate personal matters to others unless the persons to whom you convey it are immediately affected by such information. The Bible requires all of us to exercise discretion in our speech. This means we must avoid gossiping, or conversing about the affairs of others (to persons not immediately affected by the information conveyed) in such a way as that may tend to harm the reputation of the one whose personal matters receive such undesirable attention.5. Always use a calm, steady voice in your conversations.The Bible requires us not to multiply words without cause, and to speak in a calm manner whenever possible and suitable (obviously emergencies may call for a different tone).

This is pleasant for others to hear and makes them more likely to listen to your wisdom; and it also avoids offending others unnecessarily.6. Plan one week ahead.Write down your plans and follow them to live an orderly life. Many do not think of "planning" as a type of etiqutte unless it involves planning a special event, but this is not the case.

By recording in advance your weekly schedule (together if you are married), you enable each other to know what to expect. This will tend to provide a (relatively) predictable future for your family, and a greater sense of security and stability for the family members. Therefore, you must make plans in advance to be courteous to others in your family, especially to your wife, as the Bible requires.

7. Talk about the things that interest the OTHER persons with whom you speak.This needs little explanantion other than the biblical passage, "In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you." And again, "look out for the interests of others, not merely your own.".

8. Memorize and tell others maybe 10-20 funny sayings to make them laugh.We all enjoy a good laugh, and the Bible tells us that "laughter does good like medicine." By helping others laugh, you make their lives more enjoyable. This promotes the sixth commandment, which forbids murder and requires us to promote life.9.

Be considerate of others. This means you must actively "consider" -- ponder, think about, study, examine and analyze -- what others do and do not like so that you can please them.10.

When you intend to visit others, call ahead first if possible. The need for this courtesy follows from (#6 above) the need for people to plan out their weekly activities. If you do not call ahead, you may impose on others and ruin their plans, even if you do not mean to do so. This is rude, so avoid it and call first.

Here are some locations on the internet which offer a great many more helpful tips on the subject. I hope they help.http://www.

mannersinternational.com/etiquette_tips_communications.asp.Dating Tips: http://www.

lhj.com/home/Dating-Tips.html.Marriage Ideas: http://www.

lhj.com/home/Marriage.html.Romance Ideas: http://www.

lhj.com/home/Romance-Ideas.html.About.com -- Social Etiquette, Q & A -- http://experts.

about.com/q/Social-Etiquette-Good-2570/.

.Carson Day has written some 1.3 gazillion articles on a wide variety of topics.

These aim to glorify God and help others to live wisely and well. You can visit Carson's websites at http://ophirgold.blogspot.com (The Omniblog) or http://extremeprofit.blogspot.

com Thanks for stoping by.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carson_C._Day.

.

By: Carson C. Day



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