True and False Politeness
[by F.E.W. Harper]
False politeness can cast a glamour over fashionable follies and popular vices and shrink from uttering unpalatable truths, when truth is needed more than flattery.
True politeness, tender as love and faithful as truth, values intrinsic worth more than artificial surroundings. It will stem the current of the world’s disfavor, rather than float ignobly on the tide of popular favor, with the implied disrespect to our common human nature, that it is a flaccid thing to be won by sophistry, and satisfied with shams.
False politeness is an outgrowth from the surface of life. True politeness is the fair outflowing of a kind and thoughtful life, the sweet ripe fruit of a religion which gives to life its best expression and to humanity its crowning glory.
True politeness is broadly inclusive; false politeness narrowly exclusive. …
True politeness has no scornful epithets for classes or races, who, if not organically inferior, have been born under, or environed by inferior conditions. Humanity is God’s child, and to fail in true kindness and respect to the least of His “little ones” is to fail in allegiance to Him.
Contemptuous injustice to man is treason to God, and one of the worst forms of infidelity is to praise Christ with our lips and trample on the least of His brethren with our feet,-to talk sweetly of His love, and embitter the lives of others by cold contempt, and cruel scorn.
Beyond the narrow limitations of social lines are humanity’s broader interests…
If today you believe that your faith is simple and vision clearer than that of other forms of belief, should not the clasp of your hand be warmer, the earnestness of your soul greater, and the throbbings of your heart quicker to clasp the world in your arms and bring it nearer to the great heart of God and His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ?