Not all “cops” are bad. Not all “Christians” are racially respectful. Absolutes are dangerous! It’s complicated. No one is perfect except Jesus. Yet, Christ-followers are forgiven. That is a miracle! Life is not an event. It’s a process. Faith is a growth journey.

My confession? Writing my recent book, Restoring Civility, I wanted to help Christians improve their lives and change their churches. Healthier churches impact society. My confession is how writing the book changed me.

As a church consultant with a passion for more impactful congregations, I have traveled a lot. After the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York, life changed. Now, I had to go through airport security. In the early days, security wasn’t very private. I went through an airport in the Southeast, and the security guard made me take off my belt. I had recently lost some weight, and my pants fell down—in front of a line of travelers in a crowded hallway!

Honestly? My attitude about the “security hassle” wasn’t very good. And these people were actually protecting my safety—as well as the safety of others! How absurd, I’m embarrassed to admit.

While researching for the book, I learned that “civility” means “respect”—something to think about from every angle of today’s news reports. So, I made a decision. Instead of having a bad attitude about the security hassle, I decided to speak to each security agent I encountered: “Thank you for keeping us safe.”

My point? Many of the security people have had positive responses as I was civil to them. However, practicing civility did something to me. It sounds a little nuts, I know. But I began to look forward to passing through security! And, my blood pressure was greatly decreased. Yet, I wonder, “How are Christians impacting our nation?”

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Church Doctor Report - July/August 2020

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