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A Call to Renew Courtesy



Courtesy, honor, and respect seem like old-fashioned ideas, but our culture could stand to have these crucial concepts reintroduced. This was put on display with the recent ejection of Quay Walker from the Lions and Packers game: “Walker was penalized in the fourth quarter after he apparently pushed a member of the Lions training staff who was trying to tend to running back D’Andre Swift. Walker was ejected from the game.” [1]


This is not the first time Walker has been penalized this season for such behavior: in October of this year, Walker was also ejected for shoving a Bills coach who was standing on the sidelines. [2] In both cases, the tape of the incidents seems to contextualize Walker’s response as a reaction to feeling disrespected by the other men.


Is this really the kind of behavior our society should tolerate from a man that thousands of little boys will look up to and call their hero?


Obviously, even if Walker undoubtedly felt a sense of self-satisfaction and self-righteousness in each moment of indiscretion, he should have known better than to act on those emotional impulses.


Similarly, all of us should be wary of having the Quay Walker response when we feel we have been wronged or if we feel we have the moral high ground.


Sometimes it is easy to think one is above the crowd. To focus on one’s own pride instead of on God and to take shots at those we think are beneath us or against us. This is a crucial mistake that is often all too easy to make.


One example comes from a pastor who admitted that he “felt free to mock… conservative, uneducated, backwoods fundies who still read the KJV [King James Version]. They lacked the theological sophistication and cultural insight I had acquired while doing campus ministry and studying at seminary.”[3]


That is not to say Christians should not stand up for God and for themselves. Only to say that we should be careful not to become condescending and wind up defending our own pride instead of defending God.


While Christians are called to stand firm in the face of opposition and to call out evil without hesitation, Colossians 4:6 also teaches, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”


It is sometimes difficult to walk the line between being truthful and being deliberately hurtful, especially when it comes to “speaking the truth in love,” a phrase often used in Christian circles.

Nonetheless, Christians must be careful not to allow their attitudes to become punitive or uncharitable. It is notable that while Christians are called to take a staunch position in defense of the truth, they are also called to do so with grace.


This brings us back to the issue with Walker; it is disgraceful that our society holds this man up as a role model, and it is disconcerting that such a thing would even cross his mind. It is important to understand that such behavior should never be normalized and would only be allowed in a society that had lost sight of the one true God.


Fortunately, Walker’s coach, Matt LaFleur, was swift to condemn the player’s actions, saying, “we’ve got a much higher standard for our players than to do silly things like that.”

Nonetheless, Christians should take this incident as a reminder that we must work to maintain the honor, respect, and courtesy that this culture lacks by practicing it ourselves and refusing to model such knee-jerk displays of indignation.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

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