This is the sixth blog in this series on love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
There are three ways we can convey rudeness. We do it either by our words, our attitude, or our actions.
It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.
Proverbs 11:12 NLT
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and then suddenly you’re hit by a rude remark that was meant to purposely bring you down? Then shocked and hurt, it takes everything you have to keep from striking back?
I have been on both the giving and receiving end of rude remarks. There have been people I’ve dreaded being around because their harsh, critical spirit leaves me feeling completely belittled. Yet I can’t judge them because I’ve done the same thing to others.
In the past, if I saw something wrong with someone, I’d let them know by criticizing them with a rude comment, hoping it would open their eyes. Every time I did that the big plank in my eye continued to grow, blinding me even more from my own faults (Matthew 7:4-5).
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” We are walking around each day speaking death or life into the lives of those around us and reaping the fruit of it in our own lives.
James 3:6 says, The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. We reap what we sow. If we speak words of life that encourage and bless others, we will be encouraged and blessed in return.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
Our attitude causes us to be rude to others. If we don’t change our attitude we will continue to spew out fiery remarks. Just last week, as I was preparing this message, I had to get up three times to open the front door for my husband because he either forgot something or had something to tell me. I started to get annoyed and by the third time I was rolling my eyes and shaking my head.
God quickly convicted me that I was getting an attitude. If I hadn’t yielded to that conviction I would’ve been rude to my husband. If God hadn’t helped me stop it that morning, I would’ve held on to it through my day and it would’ve continued to affect my attitude.
Even if we don’t physically say anything rude, our attitude and our tone of voice can convey rudeness. Rolling our eyes, huffing under our breath, being sarcastic, complaining, and being impatient, all convey a rude attitude.
We need to pray for our attitude to be like Christ’s and live by His example.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…
We don’t always have to have a bad attitude or say anything wrong to come off as rude. Our actions play just as important of a role. There are many things people do today that is just plain rude. Here’s just to name a few:
Do you borrow things from people but never return them? My mother literally returns everything that is not hers. She will even drive thirty minutes to my house just to drop off something I accidentally left at her house.
Do you park in a handicap spot when you have two perfectly well able legs to walk on? I remember as a teenager thinking it was so cool to take my friend’s dad’s car to the mall because he had a handicap sticker and we could get front row parking. I never thought about those who actually needed to be in the front row because of a handicap.
Do you interrupt people when they’re talking? Do you blurt out replies before listening to what they have to say? Proverbs 18:13 says, answering before listening is both stupid and rude (MSG). I am so guilty of this verse that I even find myself replying to an email before I’m done reading it.
Do you ever make promises and not follow through with them? People highly respect those who are reliable and trustworthy. It’s nice to have people you can truly count on to do what they say they are going to do, and to be there when they say they are going to be there.
Do you ignore the “Please RSVP” when you receive an invitation? I have had parties where I ran out of food because people showed up that never told me they were coming. I have also had parties where I had a lot of food leftover because those who said they were coming never showed up.
Do you ignore someone because you don’t want to tell them no? When I was researching the publishing industry I was amazed at how many people I had inquired for information that completely ignored me. I found such respect for those who took the time to answer me even when it was just to say, “Sorry, I cannot help you.”
We should think about others in every situation and do to them as we would want them to do to us. This is how we truly love others, by showing consideration and thinking of them.
For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:21
Amanda Beth is a wife and mother of four children, and author of an upcoming book titled: YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children. She has been married for 14 years and has experienced transformation in her life and marriage since she surrendered her heart to Christ ten years ago. http://www.amandabeth.net/