Sincere Good Manners

It is true that good manners may be sometimes merely superficial; may even cloak downright meanness. A rascal in the confidence game may assume a mask of good manners for the purpose of deceiving his intended victims. All good qualities have their counterfeits and we need to keep a constant guard against counterfeit charm.

But sincere good manners make pleasant the social and business relationships of daily life. Columnist John R. Gunn asks, "What are the qualities which do most to sweeten life? Surely we would name good nature, sincerity, generosity, a sense of humor and good manners. You may be a paragon of virtue, but if you disregard the common amenities of life, you will make yourself a common nuisance. It is not enough to be good - you should be good, graciously. The godly virtue should be made attractive by the practice of good manners. Inward character should be robed with outward grace. I might add that graciousness of manner is in itself a form of service. You can be helpful to others just by being polite and courteous. Just by being civil, by greeting people affably and pleasantly, you can make their lives brighter.

'Be all like-minded, be sympathetic, love as brethren, be tenderhearted, be courteous', thus did Peter instruct the early Christians. His counsel is as good for us today as it was for those people nearly two-thousand years ago."