Gracious â€¦ Now I like that word. Not a Terrell Owens or
Randy Moss word. No, this word is reserved for people who recognize
that they are privileged to receive what they have been given. A
gracious person is wonderful just to be around. So what is a gracious
- A gracious person is slow to take credit and quick to lavish praise.
- A gracious person never seeks to embarrass another.
Humiliating another is not in this personâ€™s vocabulary. (And
please â€¦ donâ€™t say something that humiliates another and then try to
escape responsibility by saying, "I was only joking.")
- A gracious person is always thanking others. Do you go through an entire day without thanking another?
- A gracious person doesnâ€™t monopolize the conversation. Someone else has something to offer.
- A gracious person doesnâ€™t try to play "one up-manship." ("Thatâ€™s nothing, you should have seen what I did!")
- A gracious person pays attention to people. Sometimes
people come away from such conversations saying, "He made me feel like
I was the most important person at that moment."
- A gracious person desires to say what is appropriate. He
doesnâ€™t just say what is on his mind or whatever he might be thinking.
(There is no redeeming value in emptying oneâ€™s mind of whatever
fleeting thought has happened to land at the moment.)
- A gracious person looks out for the comfort of others. "Would you like a cup of coffee? What about a coke? Can I get you a newspaper while Iâ€™m out?" etc.
- A gracious person understands that she is not indispensable. Youâ€™ve
seen this person. She desires constant attention. She has a way of
constantly focusing most any conversation back on herself. There is a
humility in realizing that you are dispensable.
- A gracious person constantly points out the good that he sees. Maybe
you are visiting a friend who lives in another place. Instead of
pointing out the inadequacies of your friendâ€™s community, you are
constantly finding things that are good. "This cafe has outstanding
peach pie! That was delicious." "I just love the way you have planted
your garden. It is beautiful!" Gracious people look for the good.
This is actually a post from October 2005. Why post it again? Because of a few comments that have been made regarding this piece. This was published in the Waco Tribune Herald shortly after it was posted on my blog. One gentleman told me a few weeks later that someone had placed the newspaper article on the wall in the rehab center at nearby Providence Hospital. A few weeks ago, a local anesthesiologist told me that it had been posted on the door of the operating room. He said, "I’ve read it several times before going in." An older gentleman in our church died of cancer in the last year. Before his death, he sent a copy of this piece to each of his grandchildren.
Why this response? I believe that in so many of us, there is a genuine hunger to experience the beauty of graciousness. After all, it is nothing more than grace lived out. And — that grace originates in the heart of God.
(I’m curious, what would you add to this list of ten? I suspect you could add another characteristic of a gracious person that might be helpful to us all.)