Graciousness

coffee9.jpgGracious.  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
person?

 
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.

 
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.

 
(This post has appeared on this blog before.  It seems appropriate for Thanksgiving week.)

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • ConnieLard

    A gracious person is able to overlook offenses from others and is quick to accept an apology.  (Perhaps that’s the meaning of I Peter 4:8 – "…love covers a multitude of sins."?) 

  • http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org Matthew

    It is always great to be around people like this.  People will class. www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org 

  • http://spiritualoasis.wordpress.com Bill

    Wonderful post, Jim! May God bless you with a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving. -bill

  • Christine ‘Martin’Wood

    A gracious person is someone who leaves you feeling like you could conquer the world.  They are the ultimate encourager’s and believers of people and their untapped potential.

  • http://oo24.blogspot.com/ Dave

    A wise friend once taught me this: "The best thing you can do when someone offers you a kindness is accept it." This same person recommended Dale Carnegie’s "How to Win Friends and Influence People." That book – which might sound like it teaches selfishness – is in fact all about graciousness. Thanks Jim.

  • http://www.john1010.blogspot.com Lisa

    A gracious person is quick to share–whether it be a compliment, the spotlight, or grandma’s secret recipe for the best-ever cookies. They are not possessive and jealous.

  • Jim Martin

    Connie–I like this line very much:  "…able to overlook the offenses from others and is quick to accept an apology."

  • Jim Martin

    Lisa– "Quick to share"– I’ve not put these words together like this before.  I like this.

  • Jim Martin

    Hi Dave– I like this line from your friend.  That is good for me to remember.  Learning to not hesitate to accept someone’s kindness.

  • Jim Martin

    Christine– What a great comment!  Gracious people do have a powerful impact upon our lives.  Thanks!

  • Jim Martin

    Thanks Bill.  Hope you are doing well after your move. Thanks so much Matthew.  Glad you commented.

  • http://gregengland.com Greg England

    We did a funeral service last Saturday at our mortuary and the comment made by just about everyone who shared was to mention the dead man’s anger! Not a gracious person. Very good post, Jim. I missed this the last time around.

  • http://www.theblogofnancy.blogspot.com/ nancy

    i came straight to this post from another blog, This Walk, http://www.this-walk.blogspot.com .  i like your post about graciousness.  since this is my first vist to your blog, it is the first time that i saw the post.  you are right, it is a very good reminder for thanksgiving.  and thanksgiving is a good reminder of grace.
    God bless you, brother.

  • nancy

    no, wait.  i have been here before!  i have now put this in my favorites so i do not lose track again.

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  • Jim Martin

    Greg,How sad for a person’s anger to be what was front and center at that person’s funeral.  Thanks Greg. 

  • Jim Martin

    Nancy,Thanks very much for your kind words.  I appreciate what you said.