Posted by: everynation | December 27, 2007

Good Manners

jeffbullock.jpgby Jeff Bullock

Manners. My parents emphasized good manners to my brother and me. Sit up straight. Say yes sir and no sir. Keep your elbows off the table. Don’t chew with your mouth open and for God’s sake quit smacking!!! Were you raised in a barn?! Personally, I don’t think it was for God’s sake, I think it was for their sake. Don’t know why they were always bringing God into the conversation…until now.

The idea of good manners comes from the Bible. Good manners show that we respect others and ourselves. Good manners are good basic people skills. JD Rockefeller said, “The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.” Good manners apply to ministers and ministry. I don’t know why we don’t think so.

Until recently, I thought I had fairly good people skills. After making a donkey of myself of late, I signed up for “People Skills 101” reading the book “The Family Book of Manners” (it was written for children by the way) Here are some great quotes.

“Good manners show respect and consideration for others. They’re not simply a veneer we put on.”

“Interest in people helps us to be good conversationalists. The main point is to let people know we care for them.”

“A person who monopolizes a conversation monotonizes it.”

“Conversation is the art of telling folks a little less than they want to know.” Franklin P. Jones

“A bore is someone who goes on talking while we’re interrupting.”

‘Good manners is the art of making people comfortable in our presence. The one who makes the fewest people uneasy, has the best manners.” Jonathan Swift

“Always say please and thank you. Say Excuse me and I’m sorry. Apologize quickly and ask for forgiveness.”

“Even those who are rude to us should be treated politely. We shouldn’t let rude people create the atmosphere around us. Good manners should always be positive and always prevail.”

“Never contradict others in public.”

“When we are a guest in someone’s home we obey the house rules.”

Leaders are in desperate need of manners. Personality type and strength gift doesn’t excuse away bad manners. If we have “personality disorder” we need to make a change. If you are rude and can’t carry on a normal conversation maybe you should consider the question, “Were you raised in a barn?” Then don’t act like it. Make a change. Take a class. Read a book for God’ sake. Represent Him well!

Jeff Bullock is the author of “The Pub” and is currently planting a church in Budapest, Hungary.

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