As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34.
The value of courtesy is too little appreciated. Many who are kind at heart lack kindliness of manner. Many who command respect by their sincerity and uprightness are sadly deficient in geniality. This lack mars their own happiness and detracts from their service to others. Many of life’s sweetest and most helpful experiences are, often for mere want of thought, sacrificed by the uncourteous.14Education, 240.
The Holy Scriptures give us marked examples of the exercise of true courtesy. Abraham was a man of God. When he pitched his tent he at once erected his altar for sacrifice and invited God to abide with him. Abraham was a courteous man. His life is not marred with selfishness, so hateful in any character and so offensive in the sight of God. Witness his conduct when about to separate from Lot. Though Lot was his nephew, and much younger than himself, and the first choice of the land belonged to Abraham, courtesy led him to forgo his right, and permit Lot to select for himself that part of the country which seemed to him most desirable. Behold him as he welcomes the three travelers in the heat of the day and hastens to provide for their necessities. Again observe him as he engages in a business transaction with the sons of Heth, to purchase a burying place for Sarah. In his grief he does not forget to be courteous. He bows before them, although he is God’s nobleman. Abraham knew what genuine politeness was and what was due from man to his fellow men.15The Review and Herald, September 8, 1885.
We should be self-forgetful, ever … watching for opportunities to cheer others and lighten and relieve their sorrows and burdens by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love. These thoughtful courtesies, that, commencing in our families, extend outside the family circle, help make up the sum of life’s happiness.16Testimonies for the Church 3:539, 540.