I don’t know where I learned all of this.  But over the years, my parents, teachers, books, friends, and probably a few ‘holier than thou’ folks have taught me about manners.  I’ve learned that it is bad manners to:
  • Eat “non finger foods” with your fingers.
  • Put your elbows on the table
  • Talk with your mouth full.
  • Talk behind people’s backs.
  • Invite someone out on a date, and then sit in your car and honk the horn when you pick them up.
  • Cut in line.
  • Grumble.
  • Brag about yourself.
  • Invite yourself over to someone else’s house.
In Bible times, it was also bad manners:

For religious people to spend social time with “sinners.”
And for “sinners” to invite religious people to their houses.
But it was also bad manners to fail to provide hospitality to strangers.

I’m totally in favor of some of the "manners" rules.  I like the ones that remind folks to treat anyone with respect and dignity. But I really don’t see the reason for the “but that’s not proper looking” ones.  Those seem to too often serve the opposite purpose.  (“Shame on you for putting your elbows on the table!) 

In this week’s Bible reading from Luke 19:1-10:

Jesus invited himself over to Zacchaeus’ house.
He socialized with an outcast, a “sinner.”
That ‘sinner’ provided hospitality to Jesus.

It’s time to rethink the whole manners thing.

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