Growing up as I did in a small town in Mississippi, good manners were everything. This cultural proclivity toward kindness draws its roots from the deep Biblical roots of the region. This is, after all, the buckle of the Bible Belt. Growing up as a child of the church in that culture in the 1960s and 70s, I always knew what was expected of me. Now I live in a cosmopolitan city in the postmodern 2010ish world and things are not so clear.
For example, what is proper etiquette in social media such as Twitter? What is the right way to BE among friends and colleagues on the web? One of the great things about the Bible is that is a historical document, meaning, it was written by certain people at a certain time in history about 2000 years ago. So the biblical writers were unobscured by the current political and moral climate. They were untainted by political correctness of the left or right.
The Epistle reading this morning offers some guidelines that could serve as "Proper Etiquette for Twitter from the Bible." Here is is, straight from chapter 12 of Paul's letter to the Romans:
Let love be genuine;
hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
outdo one another in showing honor. (vss. 9-19)
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another;
do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;
do not claim to be wiser than you are.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil,
but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all. (vss. 15-17)
Paul's suggestions here also apply to daily life in the office, home or school. Read the list again, ponder one of the phrases in silence, and see what the Spirit may suggest to you.
Song for today ==> http://tr.im/l81c "My Hometown" by Bruce Springsteen, featuring video footage from Bruce's hometown put together by someone who seems to still live there.