PJ’s Daily Devotional for Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
I have heard it said, “If we would do what our Kindergarten teacher taught us, the world would be a better place.” It is in Kindergarten that we learn the basic social skills that allow more than one person to be in a room without conflict and disorder because it is part of the human condition that conflict arises anytime you have more than one person in the room.
I have read about elite professional athletes going back to their high school coaches in the off season to be coached once again in the basics—the fundamentals of the sport because we tend to forget the basics in the complexity of life.
When I was a solider, we would conduct the basic infantry “battle drills” all the time…going back to the building blocks of individual skills and responsibilities on the battle field—shoot, move, and communicate—because we tend to forget the basics in the stresses of life’s battles!
In other words, in life, let us do the basics well and let us be reminded of doing the basics well no matter how advanced we think we are. Basics such as our manners, common courtesies, sharing, treating one another with dignity, and granting another person basic human respect no matter what.
You know what I am talking about: The Golden Rule—do unto others as you would have them do to you! [Trivia truth: Jesus taught the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12.]
As I listen to Paul this morning in my daily Bible Reading, I am reminded of the simple wisdom of getting back to the basics and doing them. Paul said to Timothy, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
Yes, this was written from one man to another, from an older person to a younger person, but the principles apply to all:
- Do not “strike” (be harsh with, impatiently and intolerantly disapprove of) the elderly, but rather do the opposite: “advocate” for them (encourage them, build them up). Treat older men as you would your father and older women as your mother. In other words, do not discount the elderly as having no usefulness, but honor them for their wisdom and life experiences.
- Treat people who are your own age and younger as your brothers and sisters: ”in all purity.” In other words, do not objectify one another, but see the value and worth in one another as human beings and treat each other accordingly.
- While the specific context of Paul’s teaching is conduct within the church, it would be wise to apply these common courtesies to people in your life outside the church. What a great witness that would be to our world today!
Let’s get back to the basics of the golden rule and living out the common courtesies taught to believers by Paul. Christianity is built upon the command to love like Jesus first loved us. Let us love as if Jesus were coming back soon to take an account of how we treated one another in the church and how we as a church loved the world in His Name! Because He is…
Are you ready to get back to the basics?