[Philippians 4: 8-9]
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
The book Song of Solomon 4:7 says, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.”
God wants us to be beautiful and blameless.
Philippians 2:15-16 also says, “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
If you are true children of God, you should not just preach the gospel only with words, but you have to live the gospel.
You should be beautiful and free of blemish so that other people are able to say that you are gracious and exemplary.
To make this possible, the first thing you should have is holiness.
To become holy, you should get rid of not just big roots of sin but also trivial blemishes and spots.
For you to become completely spotless, I am delivering messages on the deficiencies of the body.
Can you now explain what deficiencies of body are?
Deficiency of the body refers to the state where you lack the basic mental or physical ability, or the state where you have significantly different emotions than other people because you have not gone through the processes that you should have gone through in the steps of seeing, feeling, and acting.
In other words, you develop deficiencies of the body because you lack the knowledge you gain from seeing, hearing, and learning, or feelings, experiences, or actual process of doing things.
Including the proper manners for everyday life, you might lack the ability to empathize with others’ feelings, adequately discern between good and evil, or have the willpower to practice the truth and self-control.
In the last session, I gave you some examples of the cases where the parents do not raise their children properly and uprightly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, what kinds of deficiencies of body are commonly found among people?
We can find deficiencies in emotions, thinking, in ways of talking to others, in their attitudes and behaviors.
Some of these examples overlap with the explanations from the last session, but let us go through them one by one.
First, you should check how you talk with others.
Some people speak with excessively loud, raised and excited voices.
They sound like they are having a fight or a heated debate or as if they are getting angry, but they don’t realize it.
Some people habitually speak as if they were teaching or reprimanding others.
In many cases, they actually have teaching jobs in schools or colleges.
As they always teach children, they have the same teaching attitudes even when they interact with their colleagues or seniors. They speak as though they were giving instructions to them.
Some people speak with such rigid faces. They talk without smiling when they speak.
They don’t intend to be cold, aloof or offensive, but they just have facial expressions and attitudes that might cause discomfort to others.
Other than these some people tap on others or point with their fingers; they kind of murmur and do not speak clearly; they speak too quickly and do not enunciate properly as if they don’t feel like it; they look around here and there without focusing on the conversation; they keep on talking about things in which others are not interested and bore them.
If you do not listen to others until the end but cut in the middle and just speak what you want to say, or if you give irrelevant answers within your thinking, it is also not proper manners.
This means you are not interested in what the other person is saying to you. After all, it means you don’t respect that person.
On the other hand, you might force the other person to cut you off while you are speaking.
In an urgent situation, you should quickly and precisely say what you have to say, but some people are very slow and not to the point.
In that kind of urgent situation, if that person has to keep on listening to you because you are way too slow, how uncomfortable that situation becomes for him!
So, you should not just keep on speaking, saying what you want to say, but you should watch the situation and reactions of others.
Some people easily disregard a respectful manner of speaking when they speak, or they don’t use honorific expressions properly.
You might think you are being friendly with them, but they might have misunderstandings about it.
If you do not have a close relationship with each other or if that person is an elder or senior to you, obviously you have to be careful.
While you are talking to others you should not pick up your phone or check text messages without asking to be pardoned to check the call.
If you will be talking to somebody important, it is proper etiquette to turn off your cell phone right from the beginning.
Or, even if you leave it on due to urgent matters, it is disrespecting the other person if you pick up your cell phone or check text messages without asking permission from that person.
Those who do not keep their manners in such things as these also sometimes let their phones ring or even talk on their cell phones during the worship services.
The deficiencies in their relationships with others come out as rudeness before God, too.
Some people talk loudly with each other or on the phone in subways, buses, or public places and cause disruptions for others.
When you greet each other, do you have proper posture and a clear voice?
If you just murmur and look like you are nodding being shy, you cannot really deliver your heart in greeting.
However, if you bend your waist too much bowing as if you were groveling, or if you go to a quiet office and very loudly greet the person you are meeting, it may be awkward or cause that person embarrassment.
If you call somebody else’s home or office and ask many things without identifying yourself, or if you just say what you need to say, it is not proper phone etiquette.
If you speak to the public, you should not make faces and you should not touch your head or face often.
It is also good to change your habits such as: not having upright sitting or walking posture; making a lot of noise when walking or dragging your shoes; noisily closing drawers and doors or kicking them to close them; breaking things by handling them carelessly without caution; bumping into something or somebody, or falling down by not behaving calmly; making a loud noise when closing the door and thereby surprising many people or leaving the door open; shaking your legs or biting your fingernails.