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Common Courtesies

January 13th, 2014

“Be courteous . . that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV.

Common courtesy could be your entrance to very uncommon blessings.

My thoughts and comments today are about “common courtesies.”

We have a small plaque in our home, “Because Nice Matters!” See Colossians 3:16-17 MSG. I have observed those simple words become the everyday expression of my wife, Gayle, and her thoughtful, practical ministry to others. Her friends and family know those words guide what she does, what she says, how she regards others, and govern the time and effort she gives to anything she does in order for that to be the best she can offer for others’ pleasure and profit. “Nice matters,” because people matter to God, every one of them; that practical truth makes people matter to Gayle.

My parents and grandparents often spoke of something they called, “common courtesy,” which I came to understand referred to simple acts of consideration for others, such as being respectful and mannerly toward them. Courtesy is a social civility you should require of yourself,one that others should expect of you. Common courtesy no longer appears all that common.

I observe extremes with which people speak and relate to each other. Today’s culture permits a shallow familiarity of using first names and inappropriate conversation of personal and private information with mere acquaintances, or even total strangers sometimes. That appears to me more presumptuous and intrusive than friendly, as is probably intended.

Meanwhile, others find it acceptable to totally ignore people, passing them without as much as a nod or polite, “hello, or excuse me,” overlooking another person as though irrelevant, hardly needing their notice. Between those extremes are simple gestures of courtesy that honor the dignity and individuality of another person and treats them accordingly.

I think common courtesy is a proper and Godly response to recognizing the dignity due every individual in some measure.Your sense and practice of courtesy toward others can evidence your regard for yourself or lack of regard for others. “Be courteous . . knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV. Common courtesy could be your entrance to very uncommon blessings.

Other translations of this verse use the words, “humility or humble minded,” which is also translated as “courteous.” The Greek word is “philophrone,” a combination of two words, “brotherly/friendly” and “minded.” The application is this: “treating others with friendly thoughtfulness.” How you interact with others reflects how you value them, and people in general.

It is easy to be kind and considerate with those you correctly regard. Such behavior is characteristic of humility, regarding yourself properly not proudly. See Romans 12:1-3 NKJV. It is also possible to be inconsiderate of those you might consider, even unconsciously, as less expecting of the simplest acknowledgement or offer of helpful assistance. Failing those could demonstrate a lack of humility, living without the common courtesy of “friendly thoughtfulness.”

My prayer for you today is this: regard others highly as Jesus regards and relates to you.

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