Real Authentic Men – Gracious

I looked up the word to see if it was what I believed it to be. My definition matched with what I found. I also discovered synonyms of the word gracious that include – cordial, affable, genial, sociable means markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse.

Gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration.

Being a man and a leader I often feel like I as well as other men lose sight of extending graciousness to others. Many times we get caught up in being focused on our own goals, plans and desires we forget this important trait. Men have the ability to compartmentalize their lives and in doing so we go from one project to the next focused solely on what needs to be done. It’s how we as men are designed, it’s not bad, but we do need to learn how to make it all blend and work for us. Day to day living often means we are caught up in our own thoughts and actions and forget about others. As men we are focused driven and we want to “conquer the mountain”. In our minds we are about fixing things and making them better. We see a problem that needs fixing and away we go, we’ve already got the problem solved. In doing so we often forget those around us have comments or thoughts. We can’t stop long enough to take the time to hear them and just end up brushing them off. We can be curt, blow people off and basically think I have it all figured out I don’t need to hear what you have to say.

I am not sure at what point things changed for me; somewhere in my early 20’s I became a snob. I would only associate myself with certain types of people and I didn’t want to be seen or have anything to do with “other types” (the list was lengthy of who I didn’t believe was good enough to be in my life) of people. I often had this attitude that I was better than others and didn’t need to talk to you or associate with you. If someone whom I perceived as being less than came up to me I would try to avoid them or look past them. If they attempted to engage me in conversation I would give a quick answer and walk away. Too many times I just ignored folks. If I was forced in a group setting I would suffer through it (my body language could tell you that) and then act like what they had to say or share was of no importance and basically they should just shut their mouths.

After some life altering ah-ha God moments and experiences as well as finding a job where I saw a different model of leadership, things began to change for me. I stopped viewing others in this way. I began seeing others as people who were important and valuable. I began realizing that just because someone didn’t see things my way didn’t make them less important. Maybe they did things differently; that didn’t mean my ideas were less important-just different. Huge shifts began to take place in how I began viewing life and interactions with others changed. I discovered people to be fascinating and their view on life, although vastly different from mine were just as meaningful and important.

To be gracious implies that you actually care about other people and what they think. It means that you understand were all-important and we all view life through different lenses. That is what makes this world great. God created all of us different for a variety of reasons and it’s because of those differences that make life exciting and enjoyable.

As a real authentic man who demonstrates the trait of graciousness in a real way, I believe you will begin to see and experience people in a new and different light. People are valuable, they are important and at the heart of it everyone wants to feel like they are important. Demonstrating graciousness toward others demonstrates our ability to connect on a human level and enrich our lives.

How about you, are you gracious to those around you consistently?


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

11 responses to “Real Authentic Men – Gracious

  • Brock S. Henning

    Chris, I’m glad I read this today. With the upcoming move of our family from Colorado to Indiana, I’ve got a lot on my mind as you would imagine. So much that my mental to-do list is beginning to distract me. Thanks for the reminder to make sure I’m not blowing off or forgetting about the folks that are important in my life in the midst of my “busyness.”

    And thank YOU for being gracious. 🙂

  • Moe

    in a dog eat dog society, it’s hard to find someone who cares about other people. This is why you are a good friend Chris. Since the beginning, you have always shown how much you care about my story, my life. You were the first to reach out to me when you learned that I had an absent father. Thank you for that.

    I want to do the same for other people. I want to be gracious and respectful to my fellow men.

    • Goforth's Journal

      You can and you do already. Just think of all the connections you have out in the blogsphere. We have lots that we connect on and its in finding those connections that makes me appreciate you all the more.
      Glad to have you a part of my life.

  • Gary

    This is a good reminder, alright. But it takes me to another level. True GRACEousness is always borrowed. For me, I need a lot to fill in the shortcomings. For my wife, a gracious sorta soul, she needs less. Seems God assigns personalities with various natural levels, but all need Him to fill out the real level of Grace that is required to apply an enduring touch on His behalf to lives around us.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Great words indeed. yeah God has all given us gifts and we need to use them to bless one another and ultimately him. When we are lacking we should be on our knees in prayer to him asking for more.

  • Jason

    “I often had this attitude that I was better than others and didn’t need to talk to you or associate with you. ”

    That attitude is so pervasive in “Christian society” today. It’s all about who is in the right social circle or blog group or whatever criteria someone wants to use to judge and dismiss other people. The sad part is most people have no idea they’re doing it.

    I try to be gracious and respectful in my life. It’s hard in that I’m introverted and the times I shy away are not because I think I’m better…I’m usually just out of energy to be social at that moment. When I force it, bad things usually happen.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Great points Jason.
      I have been experiencing this as of late in regards to other Christians. I am referring to it as the “Christian Elite” folks who for whatever reason feel if you are not as far along in your walk with God they don’t want to have anything to do with you, or dismiss you. I don’t see anywhere that being how Jesus would treat others.
      My mom was incredibly shy so I understand where you are coming from. I know even though I am extroverted and get energized from others I can go on overload and then not be gracious to others.
      Thanks Jason, always appreciate your heart and honesty.

  • ThatGuyKC

    I tend to struggle with the line between being gracious and becoming a doormat. I won’t let pople walk on those I care about, but I can be that “nice guy” to easily. I actually hate that about myself and have been more conscious about calling people on their crap.

    That being said I agree it’s easy for guys to be task oriented and move from project to project with less insight on the impact to the people involved.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Thank you for your honesty and comments. I can relate with the concept of being a “nice guy”. I think even in the church that is part of the problem today. We need good examples – Jesus was about his father’s business and although he wasn’t always a “nice guy” he did get the work done while concern for everyone.

  • Jon Furman

    So right on man, I think graciousness is one of the first things to be thrown out when expedience and efficiency become primary objectives. Thanks for the good word.

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