Are you courteous or just polite?
Do you remember
your first lesson in manners?
Most likely it was saying “please” and “thank you.” And it’s probably a sure bet you still observe that practice. After all, it’s the polite thing to do.
Does that mean you’re a courteous person? Not necessarily. Recently, one of my daily devotionals gave me a different perspective on the difference between being polite or being courteous.
Think about the word “courtesy.” It means far more than mere politeness; you can be polite without an iota of personal love.
Courtesy, on the other hand, is an expression of love, warm concern for the other person’s comfort, peace of mind and well-being. Even giving directions to a confused stranger can be an act of courtesy, if you take the trouble to be explicit and reassuring.
The practice of courtesy in the home gives us many opportunities each day to convey our love in little ways. Yet we often overlook it in routine contacts with those we love.
Take every opportunity to be courteous to those nearest you, as well as those outside your orbit. The warmth and kindness of courtesy will give dignity and importance to the members of your household, making them feel secure and loved.
And, it will do the same for members of your community, good friends, as well as strangers you meet along the way. Being polite is nice. But being courteous goes beyond nice to loving.