Manners and etiquette is a lingering topic in my head right now. Yesterday I was searching my rolodex of scripture stored away in the head trying to see if Christ ever talked about such a thing. Then last night in my homeschool group I meet a woman(a really sweet retired teacher) that teaches etiquette classes. She teaches eating etiquette as well as appearance and basic manners. I was fascinated by how graceful she was and how peaceful I felt being around her. And right then it was clear that manners are so much more than which fork to eat with which course.
Manners are a series of intentional behaviors that de-alienate one in a social setting. Manners are behaving in a way that puts others at ease. From there I have thought about why I practice manners and it's usually to make others feel comfortable while around me. It's done out of goodness and love(most times) so therefore it's got to be Christ.
In thinking about chances I've had to show manners or show whatever the other option is, I realized that Christ play a part in those decisions. There ar times that I have been faced with a dilemma and a chance to show manners. Here's a metaphorical example of what I'm talking about... I had plans to spend time with a friend, having diner at her home. Another friend asked me to come spend time her. I really wanted to, but I knew I would have to lie to get out of the first dinner date. I couldn't just say "I am not coming to your home for dinner because I am going to spend time with someone I like better." It would be the truth and it would really hurt friend #1. So my options were to lie, or to tell the truth and hurt friend #1's feelings, or... show integrity and ultimate manners and keep the dinner date I said I would go to. I recently was put in a similar spot. It was then that it occurred to me if I have to lie or hurt some one's feelings to benefit myself, it's bad manners.
Then there are personality conflicts that make it hard to show manners. Being a shy, quiet person, it can be easy to ignore others. My kids struggle with that, especially the younger ones. An adult will ask them a question and I need to prompt them to reply. I know it's just shyness on their part, but it seems really rude to others.
Having bad manners goes way beyond not saying "please" or "thank you." Having bad manners can hurt people's feelings. Christ showed impeccable manners.
I have noticed that those with good manners are very forgiving as well. It's not polite to point out one's flaws. That's Christ for sure. It is polite to look past each other's flaws.
Christ invented manners. He is manners. We have taken the act of putting other's feelings and comfort level above our own and we have named it "manners."