Read Colossians 4:5-6
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers,and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (NLT)
In earlier generations there were books of etiquette which defined who said what or who did this. They were designed to ensure respect between people but easily became rigid straitjackets which reduced relationships to stifling formality.
But we can go too far the other way. We may argue that today we have an excess of bad manners,or at least a lack of awareness of what respect might mean. We can’t seem to disagree without becoming disagreeable. We take offence so easily. We are intemperate in language and emotion.
Followers of Jesus are not exempt from this. Yet Paul urges us to be wise and gracious in our acts and speech. We are not to be like aggressive extremists who think our cause is so important that we can ride roughshod over others. We are called to be passionate and yet civil.
And civility comes from an awareness of our own failures and limitations,and an awareness of the humanity of the other person. Rudeness stems from a sense of superiority,civility stems from humility. Followers of Jesus have received so much grace that they ought naturally to be gracious to others. If we fail to be gracious,it shows we are merely advocates for a cause rather than ambassadors for a person.