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“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…If it is possible, so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
–Romans 12:9-10, 18, 21

The above verses are from a section of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans that is titled, ‘Marks of the True Christian.’ The passage goes from verse 9-21 in the 12th chapter of Romans. The kind of genuine love the Apostle Paul writes about in this letter has a lot to do with basic respect and civility.

When I was in middle school we had a civics class called “Civility and Everyday Life.” I remember it had a lot to do with manners, but not in a passive or reserved sense, but more in the sense of how we live our daily lives with respect, consideration, kindness and justice toward others.

I was reminded of some of these elements of everyday civility when I ran across some notes I had from a conflict resolution conference I attended several years ago. Since I enjoy acronyms, I must have written this word down. It was the word T.H.I.N.K. used as an acronym with a question attached to each letter.

T – is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N – is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?

In the midst of everyday life that can often seem nasty, rude and uncivil, may we T.H.I.N.K. before we speak or act as we interact with others and as we live out our witness to God’s love.