David Nelson, Academic Dean of Southeastern Seminary, has written an important post called “Neighbor Love and the Considerate Traveler.” In this post, he exhorts Christians to exhibit love and consideration towards others while traveling with the following:
- Watch the volume of your voice.
- Be aware of the nature of your laughter.
- Beware of slamming hotel doors.
- Be careful about late night (and early morning) noise.
- Be charitable about your place in line.
- Don’t be obnoxious about seat backs on planes.
- Don’t be a jerk to airline or hotel employees (or anyone else).
These exhortations seem obvious. In fact, these are the elementary ways that a Christians is supposed to demonstrate love. He didn’t even mention opening your home to strangers (hospitality) or giving of your own resources to someone who is in need. But, it is also obvious that Americans (including Christian Americans) are known around the world for being obnoxious and inconsiderate – unloving.
Is this true? Are Christians generally inconsiderate of others? How is this possible if the primary characteristc of all Christians is supposed to be love? If we need to be exhorted to patient while standing in line, is there hope for Christians to truly show sacrificial love?