If you watched a video of how you relate to people in a typical week, what would you see? A G-rated family flick? Or more like a movie you wouldn’t want your kids to see?
Maybe you’d feel relieved by how you related to those around you. But if you’re like most of us, you might discover things about yourself that you wish weren’t true. You may have known you have a problem, but perhaps you didn’t realize how bad a problem it was.
Rude behavior runs contrary to what 1 Corinthians 13 teaches. As people who desire to love as Christ loves us, this week we’ll look at 1 Corinthians 13:5 and discuss how rudeness affects our relationships, and, thereby, our lives.
In its entirety, 1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) reads “[Love is not] rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.”
Our rudeness can undermine relationships at work, in our community, in our churches – and, most often, in our homes. Just as the temperature drops when a cold front moves into our area, so does the warmth of our relationship – dropping degree by degree – when rudeness freezes out warmth. If we want to rekindle the flames, we must stop excusing our offensive behavior.
What would happen if we gave God permission to show us each time we interrupted someone because we felt like our words were more worthy? Each time we seized the remote because our viewing choices seemed better than our spouse’s? Each time we didn’t take the time to listen to our coworkers because we don’t agree with their politics?
Rudeness can be hard to overcome. Especially when it’s ingrained in our personalities. But as we confess it as sin and ask God to help us change, we’ll move in the right direction.
Even when we don’t do it perfectly, we can celebrate the times we do get it right. Rather than becoming discouraged when we mess up, let’s repent to God and to the person we’ve treated rudely. Then vow to begin again. Every time. Even if that means every hour or every five minutes.
The more we take control of our rudeness, the nicer we’ll become – and this will not only make for a family-friendly recording but it’ll also allow others to see our Savior at work in us.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.