Christian Courtesy
1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:…

The apostles are not only careful to lay the foundation, but to build up. How comprehensive this whole verse, "Cherish fervent charity," and discover it in acts of pity or courtesy, according to circumstances. By courtesy we are to understand "a considerate regard to the feelings and accommodations of others, resulting from a principle of Divine love, and discovering itself by a corresponding behaviour in all the various circumstances of our ordinary intercourse with mankind."

I. SIMPLICITY AND GODLY SINCERITY. The courtesy of the world is an imposing form, a delusive shadow, an artificial mode or fashion which persons acquire under the discipline of their dancing master.

II. DISINTERESTEDNESS. The courtesy of the world is selfishness disguised.

III. UNIFORMITY. The courtesy of the carnal mind is a sickly, humorsome, capricious thing, altogether incapable of persevering exertion.

IV. IT IS INVARIABLY ASSOCIATED WITH HUMILITY. In honour preferring one another. The men of the world do this in appearance. It is not the habit which properly belongs to them; it is the costume of a better country than that which claims them for its own; a foreign dress, which, like the traveller in his journey, they find it convenient to assume; a mere cloak worn in public to cover the deformity of their natural disposition. The courtesy of those who follow Jesus is the unaffected expression of a poor and contrite spirit.

V. To this may be added VIGILANCE. It watches for opportunities of exertion, yet is not troublesome — not officious. It originates in a certain kindness of heart which may be called the wakefulness of love. Lessons:

1. Courtesy is a duty of more than human obligation. A breach of good manners is therefore not merely a departure from an arbitrary rule imposed by the fashion of the world, but a breach of charity. It is a violation of the law of love.

2. Courtesy to man is perfectly consistent with faithfulness to God. A good soldier of Jesus Christ must bear his testimony against sin; but our subject prescribes the manner only of so doing.

3. Man cannot practice Christian courtesy till he has renounced the world; for the world is not the school in which true politeness can be acquired. To be kind to the evil and to the unthankful is a lesson of heavenly wisdom.

(J. Summerfield, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

WEB: Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous,

Christian Courtesy
Top of Page
Top of Page