Courtesy is polite, well-mannered behavior, courtly elegance and politeness of manners, graceful politeness or consideration with others, polite speech or action, especially as required by convention; nobleness, generosity, benevolence, goodness.Oxford English Dictionary
  Courtesy is courtliness or elegance of manners; politeness; civility; complaisance; especially, politeness springing from kindly feeling. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness, or a favor done with politeness; a gracious attention.Century Dictionary
  Synonyms for courtesy include kindness, service, grace, manners, politeness, attention, civility, etiquette, formality.— Dictionary

“When in another’s home, do as they do or require. This is adjusting, the first law of a guest, the law of courtesy.”—Edna Lister

  Courtesy comprises the body of rules and customs governing gracious civility in family, social and business interactions, the Golden Rule applied as one’s behavior. Noblesse oblige is a French phrase meaning nobility obliges, privilege entails to responsibility. As God’s sons and daughters we must conduct ourselves nobly, with honor and courtesy, which is a soul virtue.

Edna Lister on Courtesy

Treat others as the Master surely would treat you.—Edna Lister, December 14, 1942.

Another’s ill treatment of you cannot hurt or offend you unless you resent and blame them, which is judgmental. Until you serve God only, and never even notice how others treat you, this same situation will always arise wherever you are, whatever you are doing.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1944.

Whenever you commit an offense, use it as an opportunity to go to the Father and lay on the altar all similar past offenses, anything of a similar nature.—Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Never embarrass another, but stand on principle always.—Edna Lister, June 27, 1947.

When you ascend, you instantly notice lack of consideration or courtesy from another. When you lack consideration, you are pandering to self and your I is greater than God.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1947.

Courtesy is the first step in courtly demeanor.—Edna Lister, November 10, 1947.

The first law of a guest is agreeing and adjusting under the law of courtesy. This law requires that you agree with God that this is good and adjust to man without argument, at home or in the office.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

When in another’s home, do as they do or require. This is adjusting, or the first law of a guest, the law of courtesy.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

People who often feel remorse, guilt, hopelessness and regret do so because they are not being kind, thoughtful and considerate in expressing their own life beautifully.—Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, June 19, 1951.

Consideration and courtesy are two worldly virtues, yet you can become Christed with these two alone, for they epitomize the Christ-like virtues.—Edna Lister, Seven Churches, November 25, 1952.

Let no man take thy crown.—Revelation 3:11 means that if you allow yourself to become inconsiderate or discourteous, you lose your crown of intuition and illumination, of Love and Wisdom.—Edna Lister, Seven Churches, November 25, 1952.

The first concern of soul in ascension is How am I affecting the world?—Edna Lister, Ambassadors of Love, July 8, 1956.

Do nothing that makes the other fellow uncomfortable.—Edna Lister, Go Preach the Gospel, July 22, 1956.

Treat others as you would be treated, which is the Golden Rule and the meaning of Love your neighbor as yourself.—Mark 12:31.—Edna Lister, November 17, 1956.

Your gold standard of conduct is God, who is a gentleman, considerate, kind, moderate, tender, generous and courteous.—Edna Lister, God Is a Gentleman, September 29, 1957.

The Beatitudes set a conduct pattern of gentle manners, a way of life, fitting whatever role you choose. They become your expression of God, and can become God seeing the world as you.—Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

By their fruits ye shall know them.—Matthew 7:20. People will like you because you are gracious, kind and courteous. A sharp voice is not courteous.—Edna Lister, September 21, 1958.

Brainwashing cleanses the brain cells of darkness and brutishness, and is incorporated in ascension. Learning good manners was probably your first exposure to it.—Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958.

You cannot be discourteous, ungracious or selfish when your manners are God’s Love.—Edna Lister, I Am the Way, October 4, 1959.

Dignity, good manners and consideration of others are important, fitting tributes to God.—Edna Lister, October 5, 1959.

Paying attention is the first step in courtesy. Pay God the courtesy of full attention.—Edna Lister, January 23, 1961.

Accepting praise gracefully is the best form of good manners.—Edna Lister, Loyalty, Your Chief Officer, April 15, 1962.

You can recognize an arrogant Adept from their condescending gestures and manners.—Edna Lister, December 10, 1962.

Have good manners so that Light manifests through you wherever you step.—Edna Lister, November 4, 1963.

Law combines stealing time with discourtesy and self-absorption.—Edna Lister, December 14, 1964.

Watch yourself constantly for manners and good taste.—Edna Lister, October 31, 1966.

Breaking a vibration reveals the taints of lack of awareness, bad manners, and no courtesy to the Father.—Edna Lister, October 16, 1967.

Grace is first good manners. For instance, never take attention from another or draw attention to them that will embarrass them. To cover others’ transgressions is good manners.—Edna Lister, Hold High Your Scepter of Power, May 31, 1970.

Grace is good manners at all times, saving the sensitivity of another.—Edna Lister, Perfect and Glorious Ascension, June 14, 1970.

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Stories That Illustrate Courtesy

Mary Magdalen: [Jesus] turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.—Luke 7:44-47.

Jesus Instructs the Twelve: When he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease ... into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.—Matthew 10:1, 11-15.

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New Testament on Courtesy

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.—Hebrews 13:2.

Treat others as you would like to be treated: As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.—Luke 6:31.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.—Luke 6:35

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.—Mark 12:31.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.—1 Thessalonians 5:15

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful [tender], be courteous.—1 Peter 3:8

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.—Colossians 4:6

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of courtesy: Old French, from corteis, courtly.

Courtesy is a soul virtue.


Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Wm. D. Whitney and B.E. Smith, eds. and compilers. New York: The Century Co., 1896.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Dictionary. 2024

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

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