Where have all the manners gone in society today? We don’t have to look any further than the comments section of any online article (it doesn’t even have to be about a controversial issue!) to find lots of rude—and even cruel remarks. Civility seems to be an increasingly uncommon attribute in much of the world.
The basis of all good manners is consideration for the feelings of others. Christians should be known for being especially gracious, loving, and kind. Here are seven traits of considerate Christians:
1. They are inclusive.
Considerate Christians try to make sure people feel included in group activities, parties, and other social gatherings. This is not a burden for considerate Christians, because they find great happiness in making people feel loved and wanted.
2. They treat everyone with respect.
Considerate Christians give all people the respect and honor they deserve as creatures made in God’s image. They take time to listen to, care about, and help everyone God brings into their lives. When considerate Christians have different views from someone else on a certain topic, they engage in discussion—sometimes quite vigorously—with all politeness and decorum. As G. K. Chesterton stated, “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.”
3. They give necessary criticism privately whenever possible.
Considerate Christians don’t rebuke or scold people in public—whether in person or online—unless it is essential to correct a serious error or circumvent a dangerous situation. When considerate Christians must give public criticism, they exercise discretion, wisdom, and great humility in their deportment. A considerate Christian follows the biblical guidelines in Matthew 18:15–20 and Galatians 6:1 for confronting a brother or sister in Christ who is caught up in a sin.
4. They uphold biblical standards with courage and serenity.
Considerate Christians don’t force their beliefs on others. They hold resolutely to the teachings, beliefs, and commands God has given them in the Bible with peaceful hearts and minds. Considerate Christians do not allow others to intimidate or bully them to compromise in any area that would go against their conscience in Christ. They are not afraid of declaring the glorious truth of the gospel—or standing alone if they must. In holding to their convictions with grace and dignity, considerate Christians provide a safe harbor where both Christians and non-Christians can go for wise and faithful counsel.
5. They seek to love and forgive at all times.
Considerate Christians never return evil for evil but rather show the world the better way of forgiveness and love. This does not mean Christians don’t fight in just wars or come to the defense of someone being harmed. A Christian’s honor requires such duties. Instead of returning an insult, considerate Christians forgive, pray for, love, and show respect to the person who has sinned against them. By repaying evil with love, Christians display their citizenship in a kingdom that is not of this world (John 18:36).
6. They are humble.
Considerate Christians understand that they are sinners who are deserving of hell if it weren’t for the saving work of Christ on their behalf. Like David, they cry out to their heavenly Father, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Ps. 51:3). The knowledge of their own sin and God’s mercy in Christ humbles considerate Christians and makes them grateful to God as well as empathetic and helpful to others in their struggles.
7. They don’t seek to draw attention to themselves.
Considerate Christians recognize and are happy that all glory belongs to God, so they do not strive for personal accolades or higher status. They seek to die to their own selfish ambitions and follow Christ in all (Matt. 16:24; 1 Cor. 13:4–5). Considerate Christians rejoice with people in their joys and successes and comfort them in their sorrows and defeats (Rom. 12:15).
While no Christian behaves perfectly in this life, being considerate is a characteristic that all believers should strive to attain. May Christians be the most considerate people in the world.