Gracious. Now I like this word. No, this word is reserved for people who recognize
that they are privileged to receive what they have been given. Or as Fred Craddock once said, "The final act of grace is graciousness." 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 person’s vocabulary. (And
please don’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 doesn’t monopolize the conversation. Someone else has something to offer.
A gracious person doesn’t try to play one-upmanship. (That’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 doesn’t just say what is on his mind or whatever he might be thinking. (There is no redeeming value in emptying one’s mind of whatever fleeting thought has happened to land at the moment.)
A gracious person looks out for the comfort of others.<!–
A gracious person understands that she is not indispensable. You'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 "Would you like a cup of coffee? What about a coke? Can I get you a newspaper while I’m out?"
A gracious person looks for the good. Maybe
you are visiting a friend who lives in another place. Instead of
pointing out the inadequacies of your friend’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!"
I believe that in so many of us, there is a genuine hunger
to experience the beauty of graciousness. After all, this is nothing
more than grace lived out. And — that grace originates in the heart of God.
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.
(This post has appeared on this blog before. It seems appropriate for Thanksgiving week.)