The One Quality that Makes Some People so Likable

I really like to be around certain people.

While I am with and around a lot of people, there are some people I particularly enjoy being with.

Now let me quickly say that as a Christ-follower, I am called to love and serve all kinds of people. I am not cafriends-shadow.jpglled to love the people I particularly enjoy while neglecting others. Yet, at the same time, I have to admit that there are some people who are particularly likable and enjoyable.

What characterizes these people?

These people are gracious.

Think for a moment about the difference between the gracious and the ungracious:

The gracious listen, learn, and grow. Rather than being self-absorbed, they ask questions and want to know about your life and your thoughts. Meanwhile, the ungracious think they have got it figured out. They know and don’t mind telling you they know.

The gracious are thankful for whatever they have. They have a grateful spirit. The ungracious turn up their nose at the belongings of others and have a way of showing disdain for what others have that doesn’t measure up to their standards (“I wouldn’t want that cheap furniture in my house!”).

The gracious have a way of helping others feel comfortable in their presence. The ungracious sometimes cause others to feel “less than” since they regularly critique and evaluate others, often finding them to be lacking in some way.

The gracious are grateful for whatever thoughtfulness that others might show. The ungracious are demanding and insist on getting their way even when it means that the desires of others must be completely ignored.

The gracious look for whatever is good in others. The ungracious focus on what they dislike.

The gracious are warm, inviting, and generous. The ungracious are cool, aloof, and distant.

The gracious have a way of showing that they have real interest in others. The ungracious are more focused on themselves and are mainly interested in others knowing how important they are.

The gracious treat others as men and women created in God’s image who have equal worth. The ungracious make fun of those who don’t quite measure up either socially, economically, or culturally.


What would you add to this list?

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4 thoughts on “The One Quality that Makes Some People so Likable

  1. What a great list of comparisons! Always good to do a self-exam to see if some of the ungracious characteristics I dislike intensely in others, have on occasion also been exhibited by moi! I’d like to think NOT, but don’t want to deceive myself! Going through some difficult in recent months, I’ve tried to share my thoughts only to be trumped once again by someone whose situation is ‘much worse’ than mine. Then it is hard to find the grace to be quiet and now listen to their struggles. It’s not surprising that people learn to clam up and isolate themselves, because everyone wants to be heard but not everyone wants to listen. It would be so lovely if we could genuinely find the grace to take turns lifting each other up! Fortunately for me, the Lord always listens!

    • Karin, you make a very good point here. It would be a treasure of a friendship if two two people could both be gracious and allow one another the time and space to talk. You have gone through some difficult times in recent months. Regardless of how bad another’s situation might be, it does not mean that your own difficulties have to be discounted or ignored. What you have experienced is very real and is a part of who you are.

      You are also right, however, that when there is not a friend who you can talk with re life and all that it is, God is ever present and ever available.

  2. Jim, this is very inspiring and encouraging. It’s a good template for self-examination, as Karin writes, and gives a concrete vision of how to be kingdom people (self-giving, self-sacrificing, and status-renouncing). It also helps me better understand the concept that God is gracious. Thank you.

    • Adam, thank you very much. I am glad that in some way, the post added clarity. It is so good for me to think through this.