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Hope for today: Remember to mind your manners

7/4/2014

1This is the principle of a civil society. Witherspoon and other founders repeated this idea, believing if America did not upkeep its civility, it would become its greatest downfall.

Would Franklin, Hancock and Adams be encouraged at the state of our union today? According to a USA Today poll from several years ago, 68 percent of readers thought people were more rude today then 20 to 30 years ago.

Manners, etiquette and politeness all speak of civility. Sandra Morisset, a professional etiquette trainer, gave ABC News an insight on a civil society, saying "It's all about your self-awareness and treating others with respect. If you're not aware of your behavior, that's a problem."

I agree. Many Americans seem to practice self-realization, throwing off any concerns about "what people may think" and just "being themselves."

Yes, we should be ourselves, but not to the extent we become careless in our attitude and lifestyle to those around us. Crime, political corruption, declining business ethics, family conflicts, broken friendships and church divisions all have their root in a lack of civility. Since our founding, we have advanced economically, educationally and technologically, but plummeted in our manners.

What did our founders believe was the foundation for a civil society? God. They believed if Americans chose to worship and follow Him, it would lead us to become moral citizens and assure a civil society. However, if future generations turned from God, they warned immoral behavior would rise and anarchy fill our streets.

Jesus said, "I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

esus suffered, died and rose again centuries ago that we might be made into a new person. If we believe in Him with all our being, He will give us a new heart and mind. When that happens, everything changes. We become a new person, laying down our lives in love and service to others for the glory of God.

Imagine waves of people in city after city being born again and putting the concerns of others above themselves. This is the answer for America's future.

May Jesus be your hope for today and the next generation.

Clint Decker is President and Evangelist with Great Awakenings Inc., in Clay Center. Since 1990, he has reached more than 2 million people with his message of hope. Contact him at cdecker@greatawakenings.org or call toll free (877) 433-3220.