Our Courteous God

Love each other as I have loved you. JOHN 15:12 

Courteous is not a word we often use to describe God. Perhaps that’s because our concept of courtesy is limited to the idea of being polite. The Greek word that is translated “courtesy” in the New Testament, however, comes from two words, one meaning “friend” and the other meaning “the mind.” To be courteous is to think of everyone as a friend—an attitude that God models for us.

When the Israelites were looking for the Promised Land, Moses would go to the tent of meeting where “the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:11). This tells us that the Creator of the universe wants to be our friend.

When Jesus came, he revealed the courtesy of God in all his relationships. Jesus told the early believers, “I no longer call you servants.…Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John15:15).

You might feel distant from God or unsure of what he thinks of you, yet he calls you a friend. He longs for your relationship with him to thrive. He is ready to be your companion and guide, as a true friend loves to be.

Thought  Think for a few moments about the joy of deep friendship. How would thinking of God as a friend change your attitude toward him?

Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life.