Vintage Virtue: Civility

Recently, when getting together for “bonding” time with some co-workers, it literally took thirty seconds for someone to begin talking about a co-worker who wasn’t present and who had recently taken another position in a neighboring town. From our experiences and observations in working with her, she had crossed many professional lines and wasn’t very collaborative. In our hearts, I think we all hoped the best for her in her new position, but within the brief time my friends and I had together on that gorgeous sunny day, the friendly chatting turned to gossip without any hesitation. In retrospect, I realize how easy it is to put down others, especially when they are not in your current company.
Take a moment to think about the “reality” shows that populate your TV menu. Have you ever thought about how ridiculous some of the people sound and appear when all they are doing is arguing to make a point, not to make a difference or work to improve a relationship? How do you respond to conflict or to someone who holds differing beliefs than you? At times, the way we act and react is not so different than “reality” shows. We often impulsively personally attack whoever, in our own mind, wronged us and don’t take the time to practice civility.
Romans 12:10-21 can help us examine our civility during these emotionally heightened times: “10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle… Be alert servants of the Master, 12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. 14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. 16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. 17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” … Your generosity will surprise him (your enemy) with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good..”
Remember, we are all sinners and we are all children of God. Practice civility to all and just get along!
God is with you!

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