Tonight as I was praying about a word to write about as I was washing dishes. The word, “courteous” came to me. The next questions were, “Is that even in the Bible?” And “what does it mean?”

Courteous (according to Merriam and Webster):

1: marked by polished manners, gallantry, or ceremonial usage of a court

2: marked by respect for and consideration of others having or showing good manners; polite.

Basically, it has to do with being polite and showing respect.

The following information comes from this website:

The ISV renders the Greek word praiotes as “courtesy,” while other versions translate it as “meekness,” “gentleness” or “humility.” The ISV has taken some liberties, but it gives a sense, in today’s English, of what Paul is saying. A humble attitude is necessary to show courtesy to others.

So, if the English “courtesy” is not literally in Titus 3:2, is it elsewhere? The Greek word philophron, which translates directly to the English “courtesy,” is used only once in the Bible. It comes from two other Greek words, philos, meaning “friend,” and phren, meaning “understanding,” “perceiving,” and “judging.” These two words indicating “understanding a friend” are put together to suggest the idea of courtesy.

Philophron appears in I Peter 3:8: “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous” (King James Version). Many translations interpret philophron as “kind” or “humble,” and this is correct as well. Both Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Strong’s Concordance define philophron as “friendly” and “kind,” but Strong’s goes a little further, saying it can be summed up as the English word “courteous.”

The above information is very helpful to understand what “courteous” is in the Bible. Here is the verse that (according to the KJV) uses the word, “courteous.”

I Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (KJV)

Finally, all of you, be one in mind and feeling; love as brothers; and be compassionate and humble-minded, (CJB)

I see lack of courtesy today. In fact, I see lack of humility. People are so focused on moving forward that they only think of themselves. This isn’t really what God intended. Yes, He wants us to take care of ourselves. Yes, in order to love others we have to love ourselves first.

Somehow those concepts have gotten twisted. We have forgotten compassion and humbleness.

Friends, it is time to think about others and show the courteous behavior God grants to us. Rethink humility. Find a way to LOVE.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash