Courtesy is an interesting subject. Expressions of gratefulness, deference to others, measuring actions based on how another party or parties will be affected, and certain phrases that are specific to each culture all weigh into the mix. Some societies are 'politer' than others. The society itself may have a very high or low expectation for the performance of certain rituals that convey courtesy.
What is a balanced spiritual view or 'take' on courtesy. I think that is a good question to ask. Every parent will teach courteous lessons to their children one way or another. We interact with each other all the time daily.
A Spiritual person is never alone. They live life as a dialog at minimum because if no one is in the room with them God is still there. Every other interaction added to that is a 'trialogue' of sorts. God is present even if He is not directly addressed. That makes a big difference in the interaction.
David says this to God:
"Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight - That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge." Ps 51:4 NKJV
David saw the impact behavior had on His relationship had with God as His primary concern.
Religion will always over emphasize or under emphasize courtesy because it will focus on outward behavior primarily. Then in reaction there are others that see courtesy as a set of rules that just do not apply to them by virtue of their relationship with God.
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." 1 Cor 6:12
If God is the 'third man' in the room and that 'third man' is your boss and you are at work that changes how you will deal with the 'second' person there. What is our role in relationship to our boss... or do we have a concept of the eldest person taking precedence when entering in our culture?
There is much to say on this subject and it is a worthy one for every person to explore to some extent.
The question I ask this morning is not how a natural person or even a spiritual person sees courtesy but instead, 'How does a soul winner see courtesy?'
A soul winner is exempt from the rules but is also aware of them. God is seen as the 'first man' in the room and anyone else there comes second and the soul winner is last because every word or action is oriented on reconciliation to the first man. That may come off as polite or caring. The soul winner is aware of others not because of societies standards but those standards are used as fish hooks. The soul winner has a large arsenal of fish hook. They look for them as ways to reconcile people to God.
God takes preeminence as the 'boss' in the room but not as an insecure one that needs recognition. He is the gracious, holy, glorious one who elevates everyone there by virtue of who He is.
I want to be polite like a soul winner is polite. To magnify God and elevate the individual. To do that I must see people as God 'is seeing' them and function with a clear objective in mind. Words can have life when God is the 'first man' in the room.