What would it look like if every Christian lived according to the Bible? I think that all women would become “ladies” and all men would become “gentlemen”. True ladies are warm, considerate, accepting, and encouraging – possessors of fruit of the Spirit. True gentlemen are kind, responsible, humorous, and willing to die for the women they love – possessors of the Spirit.
I think that it is not a coincidence that chivalry was born in Christian Europe and that gentlemanship developed in England when Christianity was at its peak. Their spirit came from the Bible.
Many contemporary authors and movies ridicule chivalry or gentlemanship as archaic. But historians, professional or amateur, tend to look at history from a modern perspective. They interpret history according to their own modern prejudices and reconstruct it, making it distorted or sometimes simply untrue. Chivalry and gentlemanship are ridiculed because of this reinterpretation of history. However, I believe that these were beautiful customs in their own times, their concepts being based on the Bible.
Likewise, courtesy is also considered old-fashioned today. Some people even consider it hypocritical. But courtesy originally stemmed from love and consideration of other people. Saying “excuse me” when you brush someone while walking acknowledges the presence of the other and your consideration of him. When the form of courtesy remains without the spirit of consideration, then it can become hypocrisy.
If we truly become like Christ, we will become true ladies and gentlemen. Sadly, many non-Christians do not see Christians – especially evangelical Christians – as ladies and gentlemen, but as people who are selfish and ill mannered.
I saw on the bulletin board of our fellowship hall pictures of cars that were illegally parked on our parking lot. One car was parked on the dividing line so that other cars couldn’t park close. Another was parked on the lawn, potentially damaging the grass. Another was parked in a no-parking zone, blocking the access of service cars. These exhibit not-very-gentlemanly or lady-like behavior. I was a little discouraged because I felt like all my sermons that insisted we be like Christ fell on deaf ears.
True ladies and gentlemen are honest, generous, courteous, and true to their word. It short, they are wonderful people. My prayer is that all our church members become true ladies and gentlemen, considered wonderful people even by non-Christians.
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