Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Civility Observations of the Basics for Christians

This blog arises from observations of the conduct of people in various social and business environments recently and from thinking about what it means to be a Christian.  Will each of us be accurately described as a Christian by our behavior?  Or, will we get to heaven and have St. Peter ask us why we failed to act as a Christian during our lives?

This is not a theological blog as much as it is a practical one.  What are the basics in social conduct for a Christian?  Dan Sullivan and Babs Smith, the founders of The Strategic Coach, have maintained that the basics of civilized human behavior lie are: always being on time, always saying  please and always saying thank you.  Simple enough, isn’t it?  But why do so many people, ostensibly Christian, not regularly do these?  This behavior does not even get even get into the 10 Commandments but arise from the from the second great commandment to “treat others as you treat yourself” or, put another way in the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Yet, inexplicably, so many Christians put this aside when they leave church.  Perhaps, they conduct themselves by these principles with family and friends but not with others.

My observations include drivers cutting other drivers off while driving, people so busy with Ipods and  cell phones that they ignore the people around them and treat them rudely as a result, people always in a hurry (by the way, why are they in a hurry?) and cutting in front of others in line and numerous other un-Christian like behavior.  So, are all these people not really Christians or are they Christians who make the choice not to act as Christians?  I suspect that they think that they are Christian but get so self-absorbed in their own lives that they “forget” to act with the basics of social civility of all people and Christians, in particular.

I bring this up to remind everyone of these basics.  I know that we like and respect those people who treat us with the basics and we are appreciated more when we act by these basics.  So, let’s do it all the time. Let’s be aware of our actions, of our words, and act as Christians not only in the parking lot at church but, also, everywhere.  In other words, keep a high level of self-awareness of your social civility as a Christian.

Let me know what you think.

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer


  1. Hey - it's not always in the car or the parking lot or in the grocery store. It could be whenever we talk to each other and all we can do is think about what we want to say next without ever listening to what is being said to us.

    I have always been punctual (usually am neurotically early) and am gracious to strangers. I often fail to be gracious to friends and family. You are right Ray, it's the common decency to man that many of the secular atheists practice daily that we as Christians should place at the forefront of our outward actions (and thoughts).


  2. Social civility does seem to be a dying art. I miss it in everyday life. I cringe when I see people behaving badly toward each other. I try very hard to make certain that I am a "please and thank you" person with others. At times I am certain that I fail but keeping it as my intention keeps me motivated the majority of the time to reach my goal of civility with all. It is a Christian value that impacts my own life as well as the lives of others. To be shoved aside, to be ignored, to be trampled, to see that your thoughts and feelings do not compete with a text or cell phone, etc., is hurtful. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is not difficult or even challenging. It is a commitment to act on one's faith. It strengthens everyone. Greeting a stranger with a smile is so easy and so pleasurable to both parties. Why would we, as Christians, do anything less?

    Ray, your blog has real "meat" to it and I enjoyed reading and thinking about it. You are quickly becoming quite skillful in presenting your thoughts on topics that are certainly relevant and thought-provoking to all. Nice work!