Have you ever had someone tell you something that was really really true but because of they way it was told to you, it was difficult for you to accept it? As lovers and followers of Christ honesty is kind of our thing but just because some of the things we are honest about are kind of hard and touchy doesn’t mean it has to be rude.
I had a friend once that used to always say, “Sorry, I’m just blunt. I don’t sugar coat the truth for anyone.” Just because you are not afraid to be honest doesn’t mean you don’t have discretion and tack about how you approach and handle the truth. There is a time, a place and a way to say and do everything! “But all things should be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV
We’ve recently learned that love is patient, bearing with one another, and that love is kind, considering others before its self therefore in all that love does it does so in love. Without this patience, this kindness, this authenticity all that we do is worthless and meaningless. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV
The definition of rude according to thefreedictionary.com is: “Relatively undeveloped; primitive. Being in a crude, rough, unfinished condition. Lacking the graces and refinement of civilized life; uncouth. Ill-mannered; discourteous. Abruptly and unpleasantly forceful.”
Sounds pretty ugly and largely contrary to that the word says we are in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ESV
There is no mention of being underdeveloped, primitive, unfinished or lacking. Therefore, to be rude is to be operating in our old nature, not the newness of who we are in Christ.
1 Are You Rude?
Do you conversate or debate? Not gonna lie, I STRUGGLE HERE! maybe I should’ve gone to law school because a good debate is where I live. While heathy differences are acceptable and expected to be disrespectful and unaccepting of the differences by raising your voice, using foul language and becoming angry over these things is rude. I can often find myself raising my voice almost unknowingly when in heated debates or whenever I’m particularly passionate about a cause. (usually when I know I’m right) When we become rude towards others it makes it difficult for the recipient to receive the message because now they are offended or hurt. When we conversate we communicate with an open mind, full of kindness and patience for others.
Do you respect the boundaries of others? “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;” 1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV Are you capable of respecting the boundaries of others, their decisions, choices and opinions even if they are not your own?
Or do you feel that it is your responsibility to push your will upon others in an attempt to alter a person’s beliefs and actions to reflect what you think is appropriate and right?
Are you present and invested? I can always tell when I’m talking to someone who is not interested or concerned with what I have to say. Either they are not present, they are distracted with something else or dismissive altogether. Not only is it rude its kind of hurtful too.
What would others say about you? If you were to ask the people in your life such as co-workers, family members, or friends what would they say? Would they call you short tempered, snappy, inconsiderate, pushy? Sometimes the people around us can see those things we can not. Trust it and make a change!
2 Making a Change
Learn to respect the difference of others. Sometimes the most we can do is give our hone
st opinion, share our experiences and leave it in the hands of God
. When we have an invested interest and heart for a person we can often think it is our job to change them or protect them from every bad thing in this world. But you cant, only God can do that. Our responsibility is to love that person, show kindness, diligence, faithfulness and patience towards that individual working alongside them in connection with God during their process.
You can’t always have your way! Accept that not everything will go your way. Just because the cook took a little longer on your order doesn’t give you a license to fuss out your waitress. Learn to be patient with others and in all circumstances.
Slow down and think. Often times we are rude out of an overflow of emotions and aren’t even aware of the offense until after the crime has already been committed. Sometimes its best to slow down, think, process your emotions and hold your tongue before flying off the handle.
How would this make me feel? Objectively ask yourself, If I was in that person’s shoes how would my response, behavior, or attitude make me feel? Would I feel respected and receive the message in love or would I be hurt, angered and defensive?
Rely on the Holy Spirit. As a new creation in Christ we have been endowed with the presence of the Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of us. He moves in our lives and speaks to our hearts giving us direction and discernment. Rely on the Holy Spirit when He tugs at your soul regarding something you may have said or done to someone. Trust his leading and in love address it.
We are not perfect, but we can learn from our experiences and to the best of our ability make things right. So ask God what that looks like for you? For some it may be saying sorry to a child we inappropriately yelled at or a spouse we dismissed.
For others of us it may be making it up in our mind that in the future we will strive not to take out our frustrations on the strangers we come in contact with or giving a friend our complete and undivided attention. Whatever it is begin to trust the Holy spirit and allow God to strengthen you and shape you into the vessel of love he has called you to be.
- Do you struggle with being rude towards others? Do you hide behind “being blunt” and hurt others in the process? How has this behavior impacted your relationships?
- What are some steps you can take today to prevent you from being rude, dismissive or disrespectful of others and their differences.
- Is there anyone you need to apologize to for acts of rudeness or showing a lack of patience and kindness? Will you trust the Holy Spirit in leading you to the proper place of repentance and restoration?