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Courtesy - a Pleasure

Old habits die hard! I was brought up in an age when a gentleman gave up his seat to a lady; or held the door open so that she passed through first; or to say sorry if I accidentally bumped into someone. Lots of little courtesies that make life more genteel and gracious.

On the MRT is an advert which declares, “Courtesy; that makes your journey a pleasure.” Men no longer stand for women or old people: everyone wants a seat to be personally comfortable or to sleep, and if you hold a door open people will just breeze through without saying thank you. In one sense women’s lib has now removed the need for this kind of old fashioned etiquette and courtesy, which is a shame, and detrimental to society.

But there is a worrying feature that this kind of decorum is lacking amongst Christians, and in their relationships. There is a courtesy to be enacted when we find that we differ; or the courtesy of an explanation; or a decorum in discussion that does not allow rancour or bitterness, or even the simple answering of an e-mail, or the welcoming of strangers into our midst, for who knows, you may be entertaining an angel unawares.

Courtesy makes the journey through life a pleasure; one can give pleasure as well as receive it. Are we not all on the King’s highway from earth to Heaven, and therefore, every little courtesy will aid the forward movement of a brother or sister.