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Hugs and Hits

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Romans 12:10 NLT

As I walked down the hall of the preschool at the church where I worked, I was often amused at some of the placards displayed outside the rooms.

Many of the teachers posted these, headed with a question for the children to answer. One sign was headed News of the Day. The answers included I played with my sister, and We went to Disney World. Another question was more thought-provoking: What are good manners? The responses ranged from the sentimental Good manners are hugs to the unexpected Good manners is saying excuse me when you belch. One child had a logical, but unexpected, answer: Good manners is when you hit someone and then you say, “I’m sorry I hit you.”

Showing courtesy to anyone reflects how God deals with us. His constant loving responses encourage us to treat others the same way, demonstrating the good manners of a loving God.  

The one child’s answer defines a way we can show genuine affection for others. We can use good manners. But why be polite to someone whom we might never see again?

Our passing gesture of consideration or courtesy might influence in a way we never know. Although we might be tempted to be rude or abrupt with others, responding with a gentle word can touch them in ways we could never imagine.

Think of some ways you can give hugs instead of hits.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.