I was on a German train traveling to a conference. It was a bullet train and I reserved my seat (you have to pay extra to get a reservation). When I got to my seat, a German man, a bit older than me, was sitting in my seat. It didn't matter that there were other seats available, he was in MY seat and I had PAID for that seat. I showed him my ticket and he got up and moved to an empty seat. What I didn't know was that he was sitting with his friends. He moved across the aisle and continued his conversation. I wasn't very friendly, I was upset that this guy could just sit in my seat. But I put in my earphones, listened to my iPod and tried to not act angry. As I sat there, listening to my CHRISTIAN music, God talked to me and said I was wrong. I was full of myself and was not acting like Christ. Finally, after several stops, I got up and went over to the man and apologized to him (in very broken German) and asked him to trade seats with me. In perfect English, he said, "no, it was my fault. It was my pleasure to let you sit there." Now, I felt even more foolish. This man said it was his "pleasure."
On another occasion, I was at a US Military hotel in Seoul, Korea and I was standing at the deli, ordering a sandwich. I noticed someone had taken the previous number and had thrown it on the ground. I thought about picking it up, then I thought, "I didn't put it down there, I'm not picking it up." I ordered my sandwich and sat down. Shortly after that, a Colonel came thru the line. He saw the number that was on the ground and he bent over, picked it up and threw it away and then got back in line. God spoke to me, He said, "so you thought you were too good to pick that up, huh? Look at that Colonel. Even though he is in charge and could have ordered a number of men to pick up that number, he did it himself." Then I was reminded of the story of the Centurion in Matthew 8. This Centurion was commended for his humility and faith.
So these two simple stories, I hope, help to spur you into thinking what it means to be a gentleman. A gentleman thinks of others. He doesn't get to thinking he is better than anyone else. A gentleman doesn't think that he is above doing tasks that don't seem worthy.
Yesterday at Target, when a woman ran over my toe with her shopping cart, I didn't erupt. I told her not to worry about it. When a man asked to sit next to me while I was waiting at the pharmacy for my prescription, I simply stated, "yes, it would be my pleasure."
Are you willing to allow God to make you into a gentleman?
BE A MAN.