#601 (16/5/22) LOVE IS NOT RUDE
‘Love… is not rude (does not dishonour others), it is not self-seeking…’ (13:5)
To be Rude (Aschémoneó) is to speak and act unbecomingly, shamefully, often sexually. It also means to ‘dishonour’ God and others with our words, persona and actions.
We live in a very rude culture. I believe that the U.K. in 21st Century is becoming increasingly rude. It’s very rare that one can watch a film, program, read a book, read a news article, without it trying to promote and attract through dishonourable language and values. Unfortunately, rude people are also very popular. Strangely, we can give our attention to people who outrage us or to the who rudely attack what those whom we dislike. So rude is our culture that the TFL recently launched a campaign against sexual harassment on public transport through which they want to tackle:
1. Cat Calling - Making unsolicited remarks of a sexual nature about someone
2. Exposing - Revealing intimate body parts
3. Cyber-flashing - Sending or showing sexual content without consent
4. Pressing - Rubbing against someone on purpose
5. Touching - Touching someone inappropriately
6. Staring - Intrusive staring of a sexual nature
7. Up-skirting - Taking photos under someone's clothing
A culture that entertains itself and promotes rudeness and dishonourable behaviour, should not be surprised with the trouble this causes. As Hosea says of us,
‘They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.’ (Hosea 8:7)
That said, the church should be exemplary. We are to be in this world but not of it! We are to be the light and salt of the earth. There should be something different in the way that we conduct ourselves.
Love is not rude. The love of God is not rude. Our conduct in the church and in our communities should be marked by consideration of the other.
RUDE SPEECH BRINGS TROUBLE
Rudeness is often about how we speak. James warns of the disastrous affects that rude speech has:
‘Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.’ (James 3:5-6)
RUDENESS WILL ALWAYS BE A TEMPTATION
James teaches that the tongue cannot be tamed and, without care, will lead us into rude and dishonourable speech.
‘All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.’ (James 3:7-8)
SEEK GOD FOR HELP
However, although we will always be tempted to use our tongue harmfully, God, through His Spirit, gives us His wisdom so as to be considerate and loving in how we speak.
‘But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.’ (James 3:17-18)