Love is Not Rude

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. Proverbs 27:14

Rude.

The dictionary is not specific about the words meaning. It uses interesting phrases like ‘without culture, learning, or refinement’, ‘rough, harsh, or ungentle’ and ‘violent or tempestuous, as the waves’. Even the phrase ‘approximate or tentative’ is mentioned as part of the definition (source: http://www.dictionary.com).

I think true love is not without culture, learning or refinement. True love does not storm into the room like a Neanderthal, stomp all around until it has what it needs, and then leaves with ruin and destruction in its wake. True love has a degree of refinement about it. It has a sense of learning and understanding. It is not without beauty. It has many levels on which it can be enjoyed. It is not common, in the old fashioned sense of the word.

Think about the different rude scenarios you may have experienced. Do you know of anyone who is intentionally rude in their behavior? Or perhaps they are rude and just don’t know it. Worse would be if they are rude, know that they are, and just don’t care! The Love Dare addresses this from the perspective of how others view you. Examine your own actions just to make sure that you are not being rude – that would not be loving.

What’s the one thing that seems consistent in all the scenarios? Selfishness. Rudeness always occurs when selfishness reigns. Being rude means I’m not concerned with others.

We can all list of ways many of us can be rude during any moment of our lives. Corrective action would include making doubly sure that sarcasm or condescension (especially in public) is avoided, being careful not to ignore any requests, catching ourselves before we slam any doors, hang up the phone or pick any arguments, and trying to be gracious in speaking. We’ve all experienced it.

This applies to all of us…not just women. Proverbs 26:21 reads as charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. 1 Corinthians specifies that love is not rude. Perhaps, to you, rudeness means continuing to do things that are annoying – or maybe it means something more, depending on that individual. The Love Dare continues “Do you wish your spouse [or person in question] would quit doing things that bother you? Then it’s time to stop doing things that bother them.” (p. 23)

If we are to learn to love others as our self and learn to love like Jesus loved, we need to deal with selfish ambition. We all have it or have had it at some point or another. We need to learn to recognize it, confess it, and ask God for strength through Jesus to eliminate it.

Scriptural encouragement for today:

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Psalm 34:12, 13

If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:6 ESV

Today’s challenge: Ask that person by email, phone or letter to name three things you do which cause them to be uncomfortable or irritated. Avoid defensiveness. Give no excuses – just ask. Then ask yourself, “What am I going to do with this information to improve in those areas?”

Work cited: Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)

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