Posted by: forfreedomalone | 11/12/2015

The etiquette of the Kingdom

When I was young etiquette was part of my education.
The rules of etiquette were the rules of daily life.
As soon as I say that, especially in north America and Australisa, people look agasted, they make noises of sorrow for me and they express the opinion that the world is a better place now, as we are all equal and there is no need for all that snobbery and stuffiness any more.
But, as the saying goes “empty barrels make most noise”.
They have no idea what they are talking about.
Those who have never had an etiquette lesson in their life think that the idea is to seperate people into the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ classes. That it is designed to make those who do not know how to behave feel uncomfortable and, thereby, show off what one knows and the other does not.
This socialist thinking could not, in a million years, be farther from the truth.
The points of etiquette are :-
1. to elevate every human interaction to its highest level. It is not a leveler to the lowest common denominator, but to the highest.
It does not look down on those below it, it pulls them up to a higher plane…and…
2. to ensure that no one is ever embarassed or made to feel uncomfortable.
If everyone knows the rules and everyone adheres to them, everyone is able to enjoy an event, or life, without ever wondering if they are offending someone or, inadvertantly, so doing.
In fact, for social interaction, etiquette is a law of love.
It is a law, a set of rules, from which everyone benefits. Everyone is treated equally, but at the highest possible level.
Those who say that they have no time for it and that in the modern day there is not place for it, but that we should all do what feels right to us, are not loving, they are lawless.
Solomon said that only a fool does what is right in his own eyes (Pro12:15)
Judges (17 & 21) tells us that when there was no King in Israel the people all did what they though was best.
But we, who are saved, live in the Kingdom of God.
There is a King and we no longer can do what we think is best.
He has rules of behaviour, which are for the benefit of everyone. They are the standard by which all are respected, honoured and elevated to His standard, not pulled down to their own.
Keeping His law does not make you a Prince of the Kingdom, anymore than keeping the etiquette of the UK will make you a Prince of that Realm. You keep it BECAUSE you already are a Prince of that Kingdom. You know how to behave and how to treat people and, when you err, they know how to treat you.
Love is the point and the end result.
My husband and I are often at banquets where the dress code is ‘formal’, but many choose to present themselves in business attire, or even ‘informal’ dress.
In many situalions they are turned away. There is much grumbling and complaining about snobbery and ‘I’m as good as them’ but they are missing the point entirely.
The point is, that the rule is set by the host and you are being disrespectful to him and all his other guests by refusing to adhere to his rule.
Observing the rule of ‘formal’ means that everyone is treated equally, although not the same. Everyone fits in, everyone is respectful of everyone else to the highest possible standard.
This refusal to observe the rules set by a ruler is called lawlessness, or, iniquity.
The Apostle Paul makes clear, in Romans 1:19 that the opposite of iniquity is righteousness and holiness.
In the Kingdom of God He is the Ruler and he sets the rules.
These rules are for those who are IN His Kingdom, not for those who are outside of it hoping to get in. Keeping His rules in the Kingdom of the World will not get you access to the Kingdom of God, it will just make you a fish out of water.
For His rules to cause you to fit in, to be treated the same as all His other citizens, you must first be in His Kingdom.
You can only get there by faith, not by works; but once there, things change. Not so that you are now earning your place in His Kingdom, but to raise you to a standard to which you never imagined you could be elevated.
Do not despise the law of God. It is not your passport to a new Kingdom; only “grace, through faith” will provide you with that; it is the way things operate IN that Kingdom.

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