Devotion in Motion: Love has good manners

5 Love does not behave rudely….

               1 Corinthians 13:5

By Bro. John L. Cash

Oh my, how our world is in turmoil today! The level of strife and hatred is beyond belief. All the pundits have complicated explanations of the cause of this upheaval. But I can offer a simpler theory: The world is in a mess because people have bad manners.

Next year I’ll be 60 years old. And the wonderful thing about that is that I’ve gotten to the point where I can remember things that happened over a half century ago. I’ve seen so many changes.

Here’s one small thing that may surprise you. Fifty years ago, it was considered bad manners to ask someone who they were planning to vote for. When I was in high school, I asked my father who his candidate for President was. He said, “Son, I don’t go around telling people that. They have a curtain in the voting booth for a reason. That’s so no one can see who you are voting for. People can vote their conscience. And nobody else needs to know.”

Back then, nobody blasted anybody for their political views. And most assuredly, no one ever told anybody who they should be voting for. Let me tell you a story:

In 1968, I was in the 2nd grade. All the students had a classroom subscription to a little newspaper called “The Weekly Reader.” In every election year, the magazine conducted a mock Presidential election, in which the children of America voted for their favorite candidate. (Amazingly enough, the poll was correct 13 out of 14 times.) So, everyone in Mrs. Gibson’s prepared to vote for President.

My parents caught wind of this, and my mother asked me who I was planning to vote for. (I think that was okay because I was 7 years old, and it was my mom doing the asking.) As you can imagine, the 7-year-old me had little background in politics. I fell into the category of “when I was a child I thought like a child…I reasoned like a child (as St. Paul would say.) And in hindsight, the man I chose was NOT the person my parents would have voted for.

When my father got home from work, my mom told my father for whom I was preparing to vote. (Perhaps they were sharing an inside joke about my choice.) But I’ll never forget what my dad said, “We are so proud of you for voting. It’s really a good thing to vote.”

Good manners wins another round. There’s nothing loving about being rude to anyone, for any reason.

I don’t need to draw you a chart of what I’m getting at here. Christians are commanded to live a life of love. And St. Paul wrote, “Love is not rude.” 

So be kind and loving this week. That’s the best way to bring harmony to this world that needs so much help.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the preacher is grading 10th grade English papers this year.) You can send him a note at