Civility is next to godliness

blevins-jeremy-k“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”   

– Galatians 5:13-18; 22-25

We live in a world where it seems that people have forgotten how to be courteous, respectful, and kind. 

On our way to a doctor’s appointment, someone cuts us off.  When we go to the store, we watch a man in a hurry to get home nearly take out another customer with his shopping cart.  At work, sarcastic or cutting remarks are exchanged between employer and employee.  At school, our children may be bullied or could possibly be bullies themselves.  On Facebook, friends debate issues with other friends using ad hominem attacks.  We turn on the television in the evening and we hear leaders in our country saying the most awful, insulting things to each other. 

What is happening to us?

As we interface with our neighbors each day, is the underlying fear that we may be powerless to reverse the progression of incivility in our country not in the backs of our minds?  If instances of unsociable behavior and speech within our population go unchallenged and continue to increase, one eventually will have to consider to what extent our nation has made boorish conduct acceptable. 

The complete story is in the Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 Richmond News.

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