Can You Set the Table?

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

In times past, girls took charm courses to learn social graces, including etiquette. Boys took a similar class to learn how to be gentlemen. Unfortunately, times have changed and these types of classes are not popular anymore. I still think there is a huge need and demand for these sorts of classes. Perhaps, if we updated them to make them fun while being informative, more teens and ‘tweens would sign up. I taught a class like this to an inner city group in Ohio, and it was well received.

The reason I bring up this subject is because all around me I see a need for a more polite and kind humanity. In this me first world, few are thinking about how they can make things a better place for someone else.

Etiquette isn’t about being a snob or appearing proper. It is about esteeming the other person highly. All throughout scripture it talks about putting the other person first. A Christ-like behavior would be to see a need in another person, and then when able to meet that need, to find a way to do so.

There are simple ways we can be courteous to others. When we see someone with very few groceries in line behind us, we could offer to let them go ahead of us. When we see a car with its blinker on, we could let them turn in front of us so they aren’t stuck in the turn lane for what seems like forever. We can be polite with our words and considerate with our actions.

1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”

This doesn’t mean we are supposed to be pitiful in today’s sense of the word like Droopy Dog. This means we are to be full of pity. Our hearts should swell with compassion for the well-being of others. If we will love each other like one big family (“love as brethren”) we will have the mindset to take care of our own. How can we all have the same mindset when we are so different? We can find that one mind in Christ. When we put on the mind of Christ, we will see things through His eyes and be able to tend to the needs of others. And as we are doing that, we will end up finding that our own needs are being tended to by someone else, as long as they are following the same code of courtesy as we following.

Today’s courtesies are much more than knowing how to set a table or open a door for someone else (although those niceties still have their place in the year 2010)! In this busy world of dog-eat-dog, proper etiquette demands we slow down long enough to see how we can meet the needs of someone else.

Today, let’s look around and see what we can do to make this world a better place for someone else.

PRAYER: Oh God, help me put others before myself. In a world where it’s easy to get self-centered, keep my eyes focused on the needs of those around me—looking for opportunities to share Your love with the world.

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8 KJV).

Today’s devotion is by Kathy Carlton Willis, wife to Russ, pastor’s wife to many, author, editor, publicist and a certified CLASSeminars speaker . Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Learn more about how she reflects Christ as she shines the spotlight on others at: or

About Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis shines, whether she’s shining the light on God’s writers and speakers, or reflecting God’s Light during her speaking programs. She is Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars faculty and AWSA member. KCW Communications encompasses her many passions. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. Learn more at

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