It is not rude.
God’s love is not a rude love.
What does it mean to be rude? Let’s define this word and again, peel back the layers of this word to better understand what God is calling us to.
Rude: Not showing concern or respect for the rights and feelings of other people; being is a rough or unfinished state; lacking refinement or delicacy.
One of the definitions for rough was 'difficult or unpleasant to deal with'.
Do you know someone who is difficult or unpleasant to deal with? How do you deal with that person? What is it about them that you wish were different so they were more pleasant to deal with?
Are you difficult or unpleasant to deal with? Not sure? I would challenge you to ask those closest to you, the people who love you enough to be honest with you, if there are certain things that are difficult to deal with on a constant basis.
A definition for unfinished was 'not brought to the final desired state'.
We are all a work in progress. Even though God sees our finished product-Christ’s righteousness in us-we are all still rough around the edges and in an unfinished state. Our lack of refinement or delicacy does not mean however that we can use this as justification to be rude (see synonyms).
Synonyms can often help us see a broader definition of a word. I want to share with you some of the synonyms for rude:
We have all encountered people in our lives that are blunt, coarse or insulting. Their comments are short and off handed. They tend to be the ones who say “that’s just who I am”, or “I don’t beat around the bush”, or “I don’t sugar coat anything”. They show little concern for anyone but themselves and their attitude is impolite.
I don’t believe that God wants us to sugar coat our words, beat around the bush, or not express our feelings or beliefs. I also do not believe He wants us to do this at the expense of someone else.
This definition tells me that agape love is something that is practiced with intention. We train ourselves to love like God, not try to love like God.
We are called to be decent, gentle, kind and respectful. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit this is possible for us to achieve, even if this is not our natural bend.
We are in a progressive state of refinement. We are not perfect when we come to Christ or after we surrender our life to Christ. We still have our sin nature within us and our flesh is in constant battle with our spirit (Romans 7:15-20). It is through our time in God’s Word (2Timothy 3:16), growing in our discipleship that the rough edges become smooth and our refinement purges the impurities from our lives.
This is why growing in our walk with God is so vital. If we are not growing, becoming a disciple of Christ, we will continue to carry around the impurities that God wants to purge from our lives.
Demonstrating agape love consistently in our lives will be impossible without this purification process.
Remember, our love is demonstrated in our attitude, our words, and our actions.
If God’s love is not a rude love how do we manifest this kind of love in our lives?
Humility (are you seeing a theme here) is key to having a gentle spirit (Ephesians 4:2, Matthew 5:3). When we have a gentle spirit our words and our actions become kinder, more polite, and respectful.
When we take the time to understand someone, where they are coming from, and their state of being (emotionally, physically and spiritually), we can respond with a much more gentle response than when we react without the understanding.
Let’s not use our rough edges as an excuse to be rude, for that is not what God calls us to. Let us be intentional about watching our attitude, words, and actions so that they display the kind of love God has called us to.
Lord help me to demonstrate kindness. When my instinctive reaction to someone is to be short, coarse, or off handed help me to hold my tongue and respond with Your gentleness instead.