Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ten Characteristics of A Gracious Person

I got the following from Jim Martin's blog A Place For The God-Hungry. I think Jim's is my favorite of all the blogs I read - always positive, insightful, practical stuff you can use every day. I actually put this as an insert in our Sunday bulletins this past week, and while trying to get the creative juices going today, took another gander and decided to post it here too. I need all the help I can get. Thanks, Jim.
Gracious … Now I like that word. 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 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 up-manship." ("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. "Would you like a cup of coffee? What about a coke? Can I get you a newspaper while I’m out?" etc.
  • 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. 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!" Gracious people look for the good.