Saturday, September 06, 2014

Stand Up Guy

We have a custom in my class that the gentlemen, including me, stand when a lady of any age enters our room. Well, technically it might be factual to call it a rule but I think most of the young men enjoy it. I am trying to reinforce manners and politeness in an often ill-mannered culture. You might remember that last week, my students wrote papers on the requirements of the opposite gender they would like to marry. In my fifth period eighth grade Bible class on Thursday, Cassie entered Room 258, returning a jacket she had borrowed from me. Of course, the boys jumped to their feet- I got the distinct idea they perceive this senior girl as lovely. Not wanting to miss a teaching point, I asked her a question:
"Cassie, do you like it when boys have manners?"
Her reply was perfect.
"Coach, politeness is very attractive!" 

I think they got the message.

The Bible has a number of references to standing up on certain occasions. In Leviticus 19;32, the Israelites are commanded to stand up in the presence of the aged. We are told that Jesus stood up when He read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in His hometown synagogue in Nazareth. It's also in our culture- we stand for patriotic practices like the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and we rise as one when the bride begins her journey down the center aisle. Sometimes, we stand up in our congregations as well. I often sit with Juliette, one of my former players, and we predict the next time we'll stand up. It's usually before the sermon and always after the sermon. In our church, we also stand when we have our five minute or so greeting time. When the song leader returns to the microphone, we sit down. It's not exactly cut and dried but it's also not a totally random happenstance, either.

Last Sunday night, something interesting occurred after our greeting time. Two older ladies, visitors, were sitting on the second row, ahead of the rest of the congregants who in all honesty, hang back at night. When Andrew, our song leader, restarted the song service, all the worshippers sat back down on their pew....except the two ladies. They stood and sang, oblivious to the fact that everyone else was seated. Many of us looked around and grinned sheepishly for several seconds. Then our minister, sitting two rows behind the guests, stood up. And in short order, the rest of us followed suit. The women never knew, nor should they have. It wasn't a big deal but sometimes little things cause the most blushing. 1 Peter 4:8 teaches that love covers a multitude of sins. Maybe politeness covers a Sunday night's worth of embarrassment. Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Politeness makes one appear outwardly as they should be within."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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