Several years ago, I heard belches that weren’t coming from a burly man who had scarfed down a cheeseburger, but rather from our precious 2-year-old granddaughter.
“Did I really hear her say, “sorry,” I wondered?
After lunch, I asked, “Would you like a cookie?”
“Please,” she quickly responded with a big grin.
Later in the day, I suggested we read books.
“Do you want to read this one?”
Showing her another book, I received the same answer. Then we found the one she wanted to read.
Observing our granddaughter and what her parents were teaching her, I couldn’t help but wonder if adults would benefit from social and spiritual manners.
SAYING, “I’M SORRY.”
When we do something wrong — intentionally or unintentionally — do we express to God and others that we are sorry?
Certainly the person we’ve offended deserves hearing us say, “I’m sorry.” Certainly, our Heavenly Father deserves to hear us say, “I’m sorry.”
If a toddler can learn that certain behavior is inappropriate and an apology is due, shouldn’t we apologize when we do or say something wrong? According to Matthew 5:23-24, it is our responsibility to make things right with a person we have offended.
“If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us,” Matthew 5:12
Would your family and friends say that you have nice manners? Why are manners important to God and others? They show respect and honor.
In Genesis 18, the Lord appeared to Abraham. What was Abraham’s response?
“My lord … please do not pass your servant by,” Genesis 18:3.
“Please let a little water brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,” Genesis 18:4.
Please. It is a courteous expression.
Do we use it when speaking to God and others?
Why is “no” an important word? It keeps us from saying “yes” to wrong thoughts, words, behavior.
It is what keeps us from saying “yes” to unkind, unhealthy fleshly tendencies and sin.
SORRY. PLEASE. NO.
1. Do we know right from wrong and say, “I’m sorry,” to God and others when we do wrong, whether it is an unintentional burp or a sin?
2. Are we using our manners and saying “please” when we speak to God and others?
3. Mindful of what is right and wrong, do we say “no” to that which is dishonoring to God and others?
If a toddler can use manners, certainly we can.
Heavenly Father, please forgive us our sins. We’re sorry for times we’ve offended You and others. Help us be quick to say “no” to unholy tendencies.
Debbie Williams is the founder and president of Hill Country Ministries. She is in demand as a lecturer across the nation and author of several books.