The Glory of Graciousness




“He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”

Proverbs 22:11


  1. David and the Son of David were examples of graciousness, which alone should endorse the subject.
  2. Romans chapters 1-11 detailing God’s grace lead to Romans 12 and its gracious relationships with all.
  3. The religion of Jehovah and Jesus Christ exalt graciousness in righteous relations and personal success.
  4. The Bible emphasizes charity, gentleness, peace, and unity among many traits included in graciousness.
  5. The success of a woman in her roles or a man’s success in his roles both require much graciousness.
  6. Your children will be desirable for marriage to the degree they and your family acquire graciousness.
    1. This is especially true in a church where graciousness is taught and odiousness is defined and hated.
    2. A lack can be more tolerated in a guy; it cannot be in a girl: she is required to be meek and quiet.
    3. While the motive should be to be please God, be like Christ, and adorn the gospel, marriage helps!
  7. It is a fact the gracious will be convicted by this sermon but the odious will not think it applies to them, proving the respective traits, since the gracious are sensitive to faults, but the odious are self-confident.
  8. Self-confidence and/or self-righteousness is one of the most damning traits to ruin progress (Pr 26:12).



  1. A rule for success – to be approved and promoted even by kings – is to be gracious (Proverbs 22:11).
    1. This precious Proverb should provoke men to pay attention to the rule of success and prosperity.
    2. Jonathan, though prince, instantly and greatly loved David for his gracious speech (I Sam 18:1-4).
    3. Joseph and Daniel rose to assist great kings by their excellent spirits (Gen 41:38-39; Daniel 6:3-4).
    4. If you wish to be a noble man, comparable to a king or prince, then learn and practice graciousness.
    5. When I am asked what quality attracts others the most, I will always say graciousness by this verse.
    6. Two men or women that equally fear God will always be ranked according to their graciousness.
    7. What can you do today to polish your reputation and get rid of some rough edges to be gracious?
    8. For more about graciousness in Proverbs 22:11 (also see here). 
  2. A gracious woman keeps honor – she is always appreciated, esteemed, respected, valued (Prov 11:16).
    1. As strong men retain riches by strength of financial character, a gracious woman keeps her esteem.
    2. A gracious woman conducts herself in such a way others love her and want to be in her presence.
    3. Gracious women are used in conversation as examples of the perfect kind of woman to marry.
    4. This honor is not her opinion of herself, which is deceitful and always wrong, but honor by others.
    5. What boldness, contrariness, or irritating traits should you flush in order to be a gracious woman?
    6. Girls that ask, “Why does she get all the suitors?” need to read the Bible right here to learn why!
    7. Women that ask, “Why does she get all the attention or praise?” need to read the Bible right here!
    8. A father and his son will agree that marrying a “7” that is gracious is better than a “10” that is not.
    9. For more about graciousness in Proverbs 11:16.
    10. For picking a spouse (wife) by fear of the Lord.
    11. Only a good wife is a good thing from the Lord.
    12. Only a prudent wife is a good thing from God.
  3. A wise man learns gracious speech for success before God and men, but the fool will not (Eccl 10:12).
    1. A wise man knows what is excellent speech for maximum effectiveness, so he speaks graciously.
    2. But a fool, or a babbler in the previous verse, not learning graciousness destroys his own potential.
    3. The contrast here in Eccl 10:11-13 is very significant, and it is your wisdom to get on the right side.
    4. When something this good is set before you by inspiration of God, you should pursue it with zeal.
  4. The blessed man that fears God and delights in His commandments is a gracious man (Psalm 112:4).
  5. A good name and loving favor from others is better than gold, and it is won by graciousness (Pr 22:1).
    1. It is not obscure to grasp that a good name is other words for a good reputation, and it is a choice!
    2. It is more obscure to grasp that loving favor is others loving you and giving favor, and it is a choice!
    3. What is the choice? The choice to be gracious as already shown in Prov 22:11 and 11:16. Glory!
    4. It is more important than your professional or financial efforts to practice graciousness with all men.
    5. For more about graciousness in Proverbs 22:1.
  6. Using a different word than graciousness, a friendly person has friends due to friendliness, (Pr 18:24).
    1. This rule says those who think themselves friendly but lack in friends have deceived themselves.
    2. For more about friendliness for friends.


  1. There is an odious woman (or person), who causes hatred and repugnance in others (Prov 30:21-23).
    1. This list of four things from Agur is an inspired list of four kinds of people the earth cannot stand.
    2. This woman hides her character deformity before marriage, but her true self shows up afterward.
    3. Fathers should protect their sons from this woman by examining and testing their sons’ prospects.
    4. He that marries an odious woman will live 50 years in marital hell (Pr 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24).
    5. Consider how plain, practical, and harsh the gentle king was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
    6. For the odious woman in Proverbs 30:23.
    7. For the odious woman in Proverbs 12:4.
    8. For the odious woman in Proverbs 19:13.
    9. For the odious woman in Proverbs 21:9.
    10. For the odious woman in Proverbs 21:19.
    11. For the odious woman in Proverbs 25:24.
    12. For the odious woman in Proverbs 27:15.
    13. For the odious woman in Proverbs 27:16.
  2. A beautiful woman without graciousness in God’s opinion is a small ring in a pig’s nose (Prov 11:22)!
    1. Physical beauty, in the opinion of God and King Solomon, is nothing compared to her graciousness.
    2. Discretion is knowing the right thing to say or do at the right time in the right way – graciousness.
    3. There is no makeup or cosmetic surgery that can add so much to a woman’s appeal (I Pet 3:3-4), and neither is there any makeup or surgery that can cover a woman’s odiousness (Pr 27:15-16).
    4. If you are a “10,” your beauty is a jewel of gold in a pig’s nose; if you are a “5,” there is only a pig!
    5. Consider how plain, practical, and harsh the gentle king was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
    6. For the odious woman in Proverbs 11:22.


  1. For those who love God and desire good days and a happy, successful life, they are already motivated.
  2. As Christians, we should be exactly like our Lord Jesus Christ – He was Graciousness, as is His Father.
  3. Our goal is to be conformed more and more to the glorious image of Jesus Christ, and to grow in favor with God and men as He did, which requires graciousness in both cases (Luke 2:52; Prov 3:3-4).
  4. Another goal is to adorn and defend the gospel and church of Jesus Christ by being gracious to all.
  5. Pain or trouble in human relationships is caused by one or both parties lacking in proper graciousness.


  1. Gracious. The quality of being pleasing and attractive; possessing charming and winning grace especially in manner; of character: likely to find favour; of actions: winning favour or goodwill; being courteous and polite with especially condescending courtesy; being merciful and compassionate; possessing grace or moral excellence; endowed with grace or charm of appearance; in a limited sense being graceful and elegant; characterized by kindness and courtesy especially being condescendingly kind, indulgent, and beneficient to inferiors. (OED).
  2. Odious. A quality and manner deserving of hatred, hateful; causing or exciting hatred or repugnance, disagreeable, offensive, repulsive; exciting odium. (OED).
  3. Froward. Disposed to go counter to what is demanded or what is reasonable; perverse, difficult to deal with, hard to please; refractory, ungovernable; in a wider sense, bad, evilly-disposed, ‘naughty’. (OED).
  4. Churlish. Intentionally boorish or rude in behaviour; hard, harsh, ‘brutal’, surly, ungracious. (OED).
  5. A gracious person is friendly and warm, not offensive or haughty, always discreet and modest, selfless and serving, forgiving and patient, cheerful and agreeable, gentle and kind, courteous and polite, merciful and compassionate, flexible and accommodating, and delightfully charming in every way.
    1. A girl is described as a “lovely person”; they would never behave themselves in a disagreeable way.
    2. They have many friends, or could have many friends, but they do not pursue them or flaunt them.
    3. They are always kind, and everyone feels accepted, honored, loved, and secure in their presence.
    4. Instead of the discomfort, fear, tension, or work of talking, they put you at total ease instantly.
  6. An odious person has character/conduct/speech faults that are embarrassing, irritating, or offensive.
    1. You might not be able to identify it beyond an “edge” that makes it uncomfortable around them.
    2. Some will jest; some will giggle; some will mention trivia; some will correct; but they all irritate.
    3. They are often unconventional as they think their opinions about things are better than others.
    4. The lack of graciousness makes a woman odious, and lack of it makes a man froward. Both are bad!
  7. The degree of graciousness can be measured, never by your own opinion, but rather by other opinions.
    1. Family does not count, because spouses or children will compromise by intimidation or for peace.
    2. A gracious person will have a high reputation by all, be often praised, and be enjoyed by all others.
    3. An odious person will be tolerated and excused with none going out of their way to pursue them.
    4. The rule is simple and conclusive (Pr 18:24), so examine what you should change to be gracious.
  8. A large part of graciousness is speech, thus words (Pro 22:11; Eccl 10:12; Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22; Col 4:6).


  1. God is gracious in that He is kind, slow to anger, tenderhearted, merciful, pitiful, longsuffering, etc.
    1. God appeals to His graciousness for His glory (Exodus 22:27; 33:19; 34:6; Psalm 111:4; 145:8).
    2. Blessings appeal to His graciousness (Ge 43:29; Nu 6:25; Ps 103:8; Is 30:18-19; Am 5:15; Mal 1:9).
    3. Wise men appeal to it (II Sam 12:22; II Chr 30:9; Psalm 77:9; 86:15; 116:5; Isaiah 33:2; Joel 2:13)
    4. The history of Israel displays God’s graciousness to rebels (II Kgs 13:23; Neh 9:17,31; Jonah 4:2).
    5. The gospel of grace certainly brings the news of God’s graciousness (Job 33:24; I Peter 2:3).
    6. God’s example should provoke our emulation where commanded (Matt 5:43-48) or not (Ac 14:17)!
    7. A full study of God’s nature, like “Knowing God,” would shed much light on His graciousness.
  2. Our Lord Jesus Christ – the perfect Man – should always be our chief goal in character and conduct.
    1. Jesus grew in favour with God and man – graciousness with godliness brought approval (Lu 2:52).
    2. Jesus had grace poured into His lips, which is the great key and proof of graciousness (Psalm 45:2).
    3. When Jesus returned to His hometown, the people heard His remarkable graciousness (Luke 4:22).
    4. The common people heard him gladly and officers confirmed it (Mark 6:20; 12:37; John 7:46).
    5. Paul’s zealous labor as an apostles was to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1:27-29).
  3. Pharaoh promoted Joseph over all the land due to his spirit, discretion, and wisdom (Genesis 41:38-45).
  4. Samuel also developed such a spirit – he had graciousness with godliness that both sought (I Sam 2:26).
  5. Daniel had an excellent spirit without fault or error – he was very faithful and noble (Dan 5:12; 6:3-4).
  6. David was incredibly gracious long before he ever entered the palace – God had taught him Himself.
    1. He was a man after God’s own heart; therefore he possessed the beautifying graciousness of God.
    2. Jonathan, who was to be king, loved him instantly as his own soul (I Sam 18:1-4 cp Prov 22:11).
    3. All the people accepted and loved him and set his name high through Israel (I Sam 18:5,14-16,30).
    4. Pagan kings like Hiram of Tyre loved David and also 600 loyal Gittites (I Kgs 5:1; II Sam 15:18).


  1. The Holy Scriptures describe the beautifying character traits and virtues that should characterize saints, but they must be taught frequently, practically, and forcefully to communicate a real lesson for living.
  2. The Holy Spirit leads and convicts people to be gracious – by His unlimited fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  3. You can never get started until you acknowledge your sin and repent for your past odious conduct.
    1. Any church can be easily divided by public opinion into those with or without an abrasive edge.
    2. Half of those chosen with an abrasive edge will deny it and argue that they are truly quite gracious.
    3. All that matters is how God and others view you. Your opinion of yourself is only selfish pride.
    4. A great difficulty in ever changing is the stubbornness of most odious folks to admit their faults.


  1. Family training by example or emphasis can be a horrible thing when training neglects graciousness.
  2. Self-confidence and/or self-righteousness makes a person worse than a fool and beyond help (Pr 26:12).
  3. Hollywood emphasizes seeking revenge in its heroes that is contrary to graciousness (James 3:13-18).
  4. The flesh of the natural man is envious, foolish, hateful, impatient, malicious, selfish, etc. (Titus 3:3).
  5. Habits long established and practiced are hard to break without great conviction and great effort also.


  1. Much has been said above and will be said below in a comparison and quiz, but here are a few ideas.
  2. A great passage of scripture sharply contrasts two spirits and conduct, devilish and godly (Jas 3:13-18).
  3. Be other-oriented instead of self-oriented. Always think about others, never your ideas or your words.
  4. Never, which means never, have the goal of wanting to talk about yourself or your things (Phil 2:3-4).
  5. Be compassionate, friendly, gentle, kind, and loving against confrontational, efficient, factual, or bold.
  6. Exalt listening over speaking, if you talk a lot. An excellent spirit reduces words spoken (Pr 17:27-28).
  7. But if you do not talk enough, you are odious and rude by the pressure you put on those around you, for true graciousness is mainly shown by speech (Prov 22:11; Eccl 10:12; Psalm 45:2; Luke 4:22; Col 4:6).
  8. Speak always with grace in order to edify others (Colossians 4:6; Eph 4:29; Eccl 10:12; Prov 16:13,24).
  9. A pure heart has gracious speech, so keep your heart with all diligence (Pr 22:11; 31:26; Mat 12:34-37).
  10. Do not allow even a little folly, which impulsive spirits will try to wrongly justify (Ecclesiastes 10:1).
  11. Exalt mercy over judgment. Manliness or holy zeal does not always condemn others (James 2:13).
  12. Learn each of the fifteen aspects of charity and practice them at all times with all men (I Cor 13:4-7).
  13. To the odious person, compassion or praise are effeminate or flattery, but they miss God’s gentleness.
  14. Meekness is a great virtue we must seek – humble submission to hurts without care for self-promotion.
  15. If you are given to moodiness, you need to rule your spirit; graciousness does not allow your moods.
  16. Learn to watch and learn by examples of graciousness and odiousness (Pr 24:32; Ps 37:37; Phil 3:17).
  17. Admire and esteem gentleness rather than despise and reject it as effeminate and weak (Gal 5:22-23).
  18. Practice with your spouse and family, for family familiarity provides the greatest test for graciousness.
    1. If a girl wants to practice graciousness, she should see how well she can get along with her mother.
    2. If a boy wants to practice graciousness, he should see how well he can get along with his father.
    3. Your family must be shown and taught graciousness, so make it a regular part of family discussion.


  1. Young man or young woman, the “My son” of Proverbs, get excited about this trait to make you great.
  2. Parents, your children will be desirable for marriage to the degree they and your family are gracious.
    1. This is especially true in a church where graciousness is taught and odiousness is defined and hated.
    2. A lack can be more tolerated in a guy; it cannot be in a girl: she is required to be meek and quiet.
    3. While the goal should be to be please God, be like Christ, and adorn the gospel, marriage motivates!
  3. It is a fact the gracious will be convicted by this sermon but the odious will not think it applies to them, proving the respective traits, since the gracious are sensitive to faults, but the odious are self-confident.
  4. Self-confidence and/or self-righteousness is one of the most damning traits to ruin progress (Pr 26:12).
  5. God has saved you by His graciousness, given you His Spirit, and now given you His word! Why wait?
  6. Glorify God, benefit others, and have peace and pleasure of being gracious. It is win-win-win at least.

For Further Study:

  1. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 22:11,” which details Solomon’s lesson about David’s graciousness before Jonathan.
  2. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 11:16,” which states the axiom that gracious women will always be esteemed.
  3. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 11:22,” which graphically condemns odious women regardless of their attractiveness.
  4. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 18:24,” which establishes the general rule that many friends indicate your friendliness.
  5. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 12:18,” which contrasts speech that is like a piercing sword with speech that is health.
  6. The Proverb commentary, “Proverbs 18:21,” which contrasts death and life in speech and the consequences of misusing it.
  7. The sermon outline, “Selfish or Selfless,” … for the character trait separating real Christians from false ones and worldlings.
  8. The study document below, “Gracious or Odious,” compares and contrasts many adjectives and descriptions of both traits.
  9. See the quiz below to measure yourself by a few questions about typical situations where you respond one way or the other.
  10. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 30:23.
  11. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 12:4.
  12. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 19:13.
  13. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 21:9.
  14. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 21:19.
  15. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 25:24.
  16. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 27:15.
  17. For more about the odious woman in Proverbs 27:16.
  18. Use this link to find a rating guide for marriage prospects.
  19. Use this link for picking a spouse by Proverbs 31:30.
  20. For more about real friendliness resulting in friends.


Proverbs 11:16Proverbs 30:21-23
Great ListenerGreat Talker
Very ThankfulBarely Thankful
Grateful for correctionDefensive against correction
Listens with eyes, ears, mind, and bodyThinking of what to say when she gets to talk
Calm and collectedJesting, babbling, and talking to fill gaps
Remembers good details past and present about othersPreoccupied with self and her present and future
Willing to do anything cheerfullyGrudgingly participates or rejects activity
Modest and self-debasingConfident and proud of self
Forgives instantly and fullyUnforgiving or grudgingly so
Genuinely interested in anotherPreoccupied with self
Thoughtfully kind to never offendTends to be abrupt and inconsiderate
AccommodatingDemanding, asking, expecting
Meek and reticent about praiseExpects and absorbs praise
“You look very nice this morning.”“Are you ill? You look somewhat sickly.”
“That is a beautiful dress.”“There is a spot on your collar.”
“Those candies were the nicest gift.”“My favorite kind has peanuts.”
“My husband is a wonderful man.”“He never notices or does anything nice for me.”
“You did an excellent job with the children tonight.”“I wish you wouldn’t take so long with devotions.”
“What can I do to help with your hunting trip tomorrow?”“Why do you have to go hunting every Saturday?”
“May I go to the gun show with you today?”“You just went to a gun show two months ago.”
“We had a wonderful trip. Thank you for asking.”“I threw up on the plane, and the hotel was dirty.”
“The sermon was very good and convicting today.”“Aren’t we ever going to get out of Luke?”
Immediate and profuse thankfulnessDisconnected and minimal thankfulness
Often sends a Thank you card laterSeldom thinks of a card for smaller things
Believes she is not graciousBelieves she is gracious
Never presumes or asks for favorsEasily presumes and asks and expects
Never gets angry or ruffled or stiff or offendedEasily gets angry, ruffled, stiff, and offended
Never speaks sarcastically or cuttingEasily gets sarcastic or cutting
Willingly participates in group eventsShows dislike of choice or withdraws from group
Very attentive and giving to inferiorsCondescending, formal and haughty to inferiors
Her delightfully charming presence shinesHer harsh, edgy, hard, critical presence darkens
Easily overlooks and ignores others’ faultsVerbally criticizes or bodily condemns for faults
Wouldn’t cause a scene for any amount of moneyEasily makes a scene for “principle” and no money
Smiles, laughs, comforts a waitress who spills her wineFrowns, criticizes, complains, and ruins evening
Cheerfully greets husband two hours late from workDoes not greet him, complains, and punishes him
Never demands or expects an apology for faults or failuresExpects, requests, demands an apology or punishes
Willing to eat French fries when she ordered rice pilafDemands her rice and slams waitress for evening
Cheerfully changes when husband dislikes her favorite outfitMakes excuses, complains, and wears it anyway
Enjoys taking the extra 10 minutes to talk to the elderlyCuts conversation short and complains anyway
Forgives in an instant and says apology was not necessaryPunishes, forgives slowly, criticizes, and reminds
Never interrupts conversations to correct or add factsInterrupts husband or others for trivial corrections
Never says or repeats things about others who are absentEasily whispers and slights others not present
Always has time for anyone and everyoneToo busy and pressed to be attentive or helpful
Others say, “She is such a beautiful and wonderful woman.”Others say, “That’s Brenda. Try to overlook it.”
Others say, “It is so pleasant and fun going out with her.”Others say, “I’d rather not go, if she’s coming.”
Men say, “Women like her are one in a million.”Men say, “Can you imagine living with that?”
Always turns conversations to talk about the other personTurns or allows conversations to center on herself
I forgive you; forget about it; I’ve already forgotten about it.Do you know how much you hurt me?


Examine Yourself – Are You Gracious or Odious?

DIRECTIONS: Put a G for graciousness or an O for odiousness beside each statement.

____ 1. Tends to talk long and loud.

____ 2. Cheerfully changes, if her husband dislikes her outfit or meal plans.

____ 3. Has few friends that really crave her presence.

____ 4. Thinks they are gracious.

____ 5. Says, “I am sorry,” quickly and easily.

____ 6. Father is sure the kids can handle his calling them names.

____ 7. Verbally thankful with sincere repetitions.

____ 8. Others say, “That’s Brenda. Try to overlook it.”

____ 9. Interrupts husband or others for trivial corrections.

____ 10. Willing to eat French-fries when she ordered rice pilaf.

____ 11. When offered candy, she says, “My favorite kind has caramel.”

____ 12. Never gets angry, ruffled, stiff, or offended.

____ 13. Thinks that wife and children accept his harshness.

____ 14. Asks nosy questions with the intent of “helping.”

____ 15. Sends thank you cards and notes like breathing.

____ 16. Has a suggestion or three when visiting married children.

____ 17. Takes a quiz like this and does not change a thing.

____ 18. Chooses a restaurant but tells the kitchen how to cook.

____ 19. Easily overlooks and ignores others’ faults.

____ 20. Has an opinion when it was not asked for.

____ 21. Speaks roughly to his children to show control.

____ 22. She thinks she is her husband’s second conscience or mother.

____ 23. Apologetic and thankful when corrected

____ 24. Rules moods or pain so that no one ever sees either.

____ 25. Critical and complains.

____ 26. Defensive about correction.

____ 27. Never asks embarrassing or forward questions.

____ 28. Never says or repeats things about others who are absent.

____ 29. Intense and cannot relax and chill out without doing something.

____ 30. Stares instead of helping carry conversation.

____ 31. Patient listener that agrees and smiles.

____ 32. Opinionated.

____ 33. Forgives others instantly and fully.

____ 34. When meeting a person, “There’s a spot on your collar.”

____ 35. Efficient, business-like, and formal about everything.

____ 36. Shows dislike of group decision or activity.

____ 37. Always wants to “help” by sticking nose in.

____ 38. Smiles, laughs, and comforts waitress who spills her drink.

____ 39. Never demands or expects an apology.

____ 40. Wife says, “You just went to a gun show two months ago.”

____ 41. Thorough with frequent compliments and praise.

____ 42. Has no problem interrupting conversations for “emergencies.”

____ 43. Very attentive, affectionate, and giving to inferiors.

____ 44. Believes that “principle” should be taught at restaurants.

____ ** I think I am …

____ ** Most others, not counting my mother or family, think I am …

____ ** In light of the above two questions, I am …