I was recently reading the March copy of “Wyoming Wildlife.” You might ask me why that magazine and I would reply I read, sports to DIY to Civil War to book reviews, etc. You never know what topic will come up that might intrigue you. Anyway, there was this quote from Richard L Gilbert: “Civility is the way we act when in field or forest, on lakes or beside streams, speaks eloquently or disparagingly about our character.” Writer Gene Hill tells about earlier days when, going afield, men wore ties and tweed sport coats. You could tell they were going fishing, hunting, etc. What they were wearing defined who they were and that meant being civil to others. It is the same today except we see more elaborate garments on our sportsmen/women.
I don’t hunt and I hate seeing beautiful animals killed for trophies and bragging rights. I know all about decreasing a population; those who hunt for food as opposed to those looking for the thrill of the hunt. But, these writers were talking about being in the field, probably competitive but at the same time exhibiting polite courtesies and acts of kindness, being a good citizen. There should be humility, consideration and goodwill. There are some who say, “civility might not hang well on the wall, but it sure looks good reflected in the mirror.”
Take this idea and apply it to yourself, a declared Christian. Titus 3:1, to be obedient to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. Sounds like civility to me and we apply it to everything and everyone, including our enemies.
I would presume that not every sportsmen follows Chris but yet even the most competitive is to be civil and obey the rules. They say, “It’s not the winning or losing that counts but how you play the game.” You get a good sportsman trophy or the best of the best award. As Christians, we should be known by “our fruit” and there will come a day when we stand before the Lord and He gives us a “crown.” He might say to you, you ran a good race; a race to be proud of; a race others stood on the sidelines cheering you on.
Character counts especially in a world that some describe as “mean.” People interested only in “their world” and ignore those who don’t belong. Richard Gilbert and Gene Hill write about the value of character in the field, forest and lakes.
We have the same in the textbook of life, Proverbs 22:1, A good name is to be chose rather than great riches. Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard. Proverbs 21:13