Love is not rude. 1 Corinthians 13:5
I remember the hurt and shame of being called a slang name in middle school; the Vietnam war was winding down, but two classmates found entertainment by labeling me with a certain Asian slur. Not even knowing what the three word description meant, I knew their words were not meant as a compliment. I stuffed my feelings of inferiority and anger—and later vented my sense of condemnation through the organized violence on a football field. Sarcasm strips another of dignity and paints the perpetrator as ignorant, insecure and unkind. All unhealthy outcomes!
Love rejects rudeness because rudeness is reserved for the insensitive and the insecure. Rudeness is impolite and disrespectful. Indeed, a rude reply stands ready on the lips of an unlovely life. Rude people use coarse words that rub their listeners the wrong way. They pride themselves in being without airs, but they are insensitive in the timing and the tone of their conversations. They hurt feelings at the drop of a hat and seem to alienate people on purpose. Love is the light that leads rudeness out of darkness.
“You are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark” (Romans 2:19).
A rude person is a rascal to work alongside because you never know when they are going to offend you or someone else. You lose confidence in rude people because of their volatile nature. You don’t want to be embarrassed around one of their outbursts or social indiscretions, so you shun their presence. Rude people become loners by default. Over time, no one can tolerate a barrage of irreverence and sarcasm. Even the most accepting and forgiving saints grow weary of rudeness. Rudeness has no place in a caring culture.
Love expunges rudeness like a healthy body does a virus. It uses tough love to escort rudeness out the door of relationship. Because you love them and those they influence, you need to be very direct and matter-of-fact in your communication with a rude person. Direct conversation is the only way they begin to “get it.” Love takes the time to be very candid and clear with rude people who run roughshod over others. However, be careful not to be rude in dealing with the rude. Do not lower your standards to theirs. Be prayed up and filled up with the Spirit before you encounter the rude with truth.
“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1).
Without patronizing, love is able to find at least one thing they admire in someone else. Even if a person is full of himself, there lies dormant within him or her, some redeeming quality. Love is able to pull out the potential for good that lies deep within a selfish soul; the way Barnabas saw possibilities in Saul (Acts 9:27). Love looks beyond the hard, crusty exterior of someone’s character and understands that fear may have locked his or her love into solitary confinement. They feel lost, lonely, and afraid. Nonetheless, love is able to get past this rude roadblock and inject faith. Faith in God, faith in oneself, and faith in others frees one from rudeness.
The Almighty’s rude awakening transforms an impolite heart into one full of kindness and grace. When love has its way, rudeness runs away. Love the rude, and watch what God can do. Their sarcasm is a smoke screen that hides a lonely, loveless, and hurt heart. Rude people are reaching out but they don’t know how.
Stay committed to your rude roommate, relative, parent, child, or colleague. Love them to Jesus, and your unconditional love will melt away their iceberg-like insecurities. Pray they will see themselves as Christ sees them, and pray they will love and be loved. Love loves the rude and is not rude. Be persistent by staying engaged in unconditional love. Watch the rude walls come down as you bombard them with consistent acts of love.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, measure my words by what builds up my friends, family and other followers of Jesus, in His name I pray, amen.
Application: To whom have I spoken rudely and need to apologize and ask for forgiveness?
Related Readings: Psalm 40:10; Proverbs 22:11; Ezekiel 33:31; 1 Corinthians 13:1
One thought on “Love Avoids Rude Words”
True words! Thank you!
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