This post is going to take some backstory explaining. Please bear with me.
I live in an apartment at the farm. It is right above the office (very convenient) and it is behind a big room that is used for barn dances and is rented out to groups as a meeting room (not so convenient). Usually it’s not a problem…sometimes there are noisy groups in there but they usually leave before I am ready to sleep.
Two days ago, in my morning devotions I read this verse that hit me hard. (Yes, this connects…wait for it.)
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Hmmm….really convicting verse, huh? I pondered it for a while. Submissive, okay….be obedient, got it…..ready for every good work….hmmm. I thought about that one for a while. But the part that hit me is the very last section: ‘to show perfect courtesy toward all people.’ WHAT does that mean? What is perfect courtesy anyway? I’ve heard a lot about ‘common’ courtesy but what does perfect courtesy look like?
I then proceeded to show that verse to the other office ladies and we thought about it together. We put it up around the office. But I was still undecided….what is perfect courtesy? So I did what I do every time I need to clarify the meaning of something. I looked courtesy up in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
1. Elegance or politeness of manners; especially, politeness connected with kindness; civility; complaisance; as, the gentleman shows great courtesy to strangers; he treats his friends with great courtesy.
2. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.
Wow. I have to do THAT perfectly? I would say that common courtesy does not have to have kindness associated with it. I mean, you can be courteous without being kind sometimes.
Now, you may be wondering what all this has to do with my apartment being by the meeting room. I’ll tell you.
Yesterday, a church group came in that has that room rented. They are all from Kenya and have never been here before. My first premonitions came when I used the restroom in the middle of the day and I could hear them very clearly from there. My second concern came when I found out they have that room rented for three days.
After work yesterday, I went up to my room and I have to pass through that meeting room to get there. They were up there whooping and hollering, moaning and walking around in big circles in the room. And they all stared at me as I passed through….kind of awkward moment. I then proceeded to go back downstairs and ask one of my bosses if I could borrow his back stairway key for a couple days. After I explained, he quickly handed it over.
That group was in that room last night until 1AM. Singing, moaning, hollering. I lay in my bed thinking all sorts of awful thoughts about them. And then, (of course it had to happen) I remembered the verse that I’ve been thinking about for a couple days now. And it wasn’t the perfect courtesy part that hit me this time…it was the ‘toward all people’ part. I am called, I am commanded by my Lord and Savior to show love and courtesy toward every one I meet. Including the hard people on the phone, the stiff workers at Walmart, and the incompetent phone service technicians. Including that church from Kenya.
Now, you may ask why I am writing this post at 7AM in the morning after such a rough night. Well, I decided not to go to the YMCA this morning to work out because I wanted to get some more sleep. Your next question may be, AGAIN why are you writing this?
That church group is back in…7AM this morning and all I hear is music and singing that I don’t understand.
Lord, please help me today to show your love and perfect courtesy toward these people.