Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pardon Me!

However, may the Lord pardon me in this one thing: When my master the

king goes into the temple of the god Rimmon to worship there and leans on my arm, may the Lord pardon me when I bow, too.

2 Kings 5:18 (NIV)


This was in my daily Bible reading today. I have read it a million times but do not remember it. It seems profound.  First, let me set the context. Naaman, a Gentile, had just been healed by Elisha. Naaman then decides to follow the One True God as Elisha does. So far, pretty ordinary. Then, Naaman says the above quotation. In effect, he is saying that he begs forgiveness if, when in the presence of his master (a non follower,) Naaman, out of respect or duty, honors his master's faith. Elisha approves ("Go in peace.") Do manners/honor, both forms of Love, trump religious fussiness? Maybe.


Fast forward to today. In the World Cup, French manager Raymond Domenech, after loosing to South Africa, 2-1, refused to shake the hand of the opposing coach and, instead, wagged his finger at him. Manners run amok.


Could it be that some of the best forms of following the Master are old-fashioned manners? My mom taught me many and I still listen to her 24 years after her death. Say, "Thank you." Do not answer the phone if you are talking with others. Stand up when a lady enters the room (never stay behind your desk!) Be a good loser (for every winner there is at least one loser.) Give the best of what you have to others. Eat last and accept what's left. Be generous. Keep your word (without it, you become nothing.)


Lord, may I love today through my manners. Good ones, I pray.

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