Saturday, January 20, 2018

How Courtesy Protects Freedom from the Law

All political leaders pursue policies that are disliked by some citizens. In America, citizens occasionally protest disliked policies by publicly burning an American flag.
After such incidents, numbers of other citizens sometimes demand that political leaders amend the Constitution to make such acts of disrespect fundamentally illegal.
In her book, Miss Manners® Rescues Civilization (1996), author Judith Martin questions the wisdom of both that protest and that demand. She does this in the name of freedom.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Types of Etiquette as Different Ways of Honoring Jesus

Jesus Christ calls all Christians always to walk with him on the difficult path of freedom (Matthew 7:13-14). When we join him there, the Holy Spirit frees us to participate in his truth, love, and vitality and to share these with others.
Jesus Christ is calling a few of us disciples to serve him as prophetic witnesses. One way he is enabling us to do this is by freeing us, each day, to share his love for others by being courteous.
To help us understand more clearly how we might act courteously toward others, we will reflect on insights and advice shared by Judith Martin in her book, Miss Manners® Rescues Civilization (1996).
Miss Manners identifies three types of etiquette: “the regulative, the symbolic, and the ritual” (36).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Clarifying Beliefs, Values, and Norms Concerning Jesus, Manners, and Etiquette

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8, New American Standard Version, here and following).
Following this advice of the apostle Paul, we will reflect today on the meaning and importance of manners and etiquette as understood by author Judith Martin and shared by her through her book, Miss Manners® Rescues Civilization (New York: Crown Publishers, 1996). By doing so, may we increase the clarity of our witness to the freedom and love of Jesus Christ by practicing the courtesy befitting Christians.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Turning to Miss Manners® for Help

To discern how we might live as nobler Christians, we are going to meditate on how Miss Manners® Rescues Civilization (New York: Crown Publishers, 1996). It’s her insightful discussion of manners and etiquette that might help us become more courteous—and thereby loving—witnesses to Jesus Christ.
If we were to summarize the Gospel, we might say that Jesus Christ is the truth who sets us free to love and leads us into fullness of life.
Because of Jesus Christ, every human being has two personalities. One, our Olympian personality, is structured in terms of the six conventional yet false and destructive gods of Olympianity. With his crucifixion, Jesus doomed it to destruction. The other, our Christian personality, is structured in terms of the truth, freedom, love, and vitality of Jesus Christ. With his resurrection, Jesus made it our bright future.