How to build character? Mind your manners.

My parents’ constant reminders, have trained me to remain polite, respectful, and considerate to others. I had not understood, until today, that ‘mind your manners’ actually means more than being polite, respectful, and considerate.

To God the best persons, the most beloved, the closest to Him, are the not the ones who pray to Him the most, but the ones with the best character, the best manners. The furthest from God would be the arrogant: those who talk so much, and talk and act so foolishly.

I have learned that you have good manners if you…

Pray and sincerely ask God for support. You need His support as you leave foolishness, and remain truthful, and patient. You don’t just thank Him for blessings and ask for more. You also pray for God to guide you to the best of manners, and to move you away from the worst of manners.

Give charity in God’s name. God has given you so much blessings: good looks. wealth. health. intelligence, great relationships, etc. But you should not be proud and should not boast. There are people who have less or more than what you have. And you are also no where near God’s level. Giving charity is not just about giving money, gifts, or service. It is also about being respectful and pleasing to others; about greeting others in God’s name; and about loving your parents, your children, your spouse. Giving charity is also being tolerant, forgiving, and understanding especially to those who mistreat or oppress you in words and actions.

How you deal with others during the most difficult situations show how good or bad your manners are. And to God the heaviest thing on the scale on the day of judgement are your manners towards God and others.

Here’s what I believe in, God orders me to worship Him and to practice good manners. I have to do this so that I and the people around me would have a peaceful existence on Earth, and also that we may be saved on the day of judgement.

I am sharing this reflection so that we all would be reminded. I can’t say I have perfected my manners. No one is expected to be perfect. But we should never settle with the way we are. We have to strive to improve.

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