Bringing the Text to Life

Spirit Description Romans 8:1-11

Unabashedly receiving the gifts of grace presented in our lives, joyfully getting dirt under our fingernails, and publicly and prayerfully worshiping God are marks of a well-mannered mind, a Christ-dwelling spirit.

One of the most surprisingly popular and enduring syndicated newspaper columns is Judith Martin's "Miss Manners." With common sense, tact and sensitivity, "Miss Manners" offers helpful suggestions to write-ins facing situations as serious as how to deal with borderline sexual harassment or as silly as how to respond to an invitation to "doggy nuptials." Whatever the circumstances, many people still want to respond in a polite, correct, mannerly way.

Of course, it is parents who are the most compulsive about good behavior and proper manners, especially when they take their children out in public. Sensing this anxiety and knowing the power of the public eye, children masterfully choose these exact moments to misbehave with more zeal than usual. Children who normally eat potatoes without batting an eye suddenly begin flinging them like missiles around the table. It is almost a given that little children who love to say grace at home will scream, flail, run away or at least pout...

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