Summer Soak: Rudeness

This week’s memory verse:

 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…  

1 Peter 3:15

A quick word search reveals the act of being rude is a general lack of concern for another. It is disrespect, plain and simple.

The Greek aschemoneo breaks down to two root parts: a, negative; schema, “a form” (ESL). To be rude is bad form. Merriam-Webster’s defines rude as being in a rough or unfinished state: crude.

Love does not behave rudely, does not act improperly or unbecomingly, does not dishonor others.

What triggers rude behavior? in you? in others?

Anger, pride, fear, jealousy can turn us into fountains of disrespectful behavior. Harsh words, ranging from the words themselves, to our tone of voice, along with a roll of the eyes demean others. Actions, slamming doors, hanging up on someone, or giving the silent treatment all convey disrespect. How often do we take an, “I don’t care,” approach to someone just to get our point across or let someone know we’re angry or upset?

Stacy says,

When someone begins a conversation with the words, No offense but… I mentally prepare myself for what is about to come. Those three words are a warning and seem to allow us the freedom to say whatever is on our minds. And when the person we are talking to is offended, we’re surprised. I mean didn’t we just say, No offense?

Does this phrase really give us the right to be rude or disrespectful?

Warning or not, there is no place in love to dishonor or disrespect others. I’ve considered the times I’ve given a warning to someone to not be offended by what I am about to say. If my words begin with No offense, I ask myself a few questions.

What is my motivation? Will it bring them closer to God? Will it reveal God’s love for them? and my love for them?

If not, it is better left unsaid. No matter what my flesh is screaming.

Read Proverbs 15:1

What two types of responses are pictured in this verse?

What results from each response?

Harsh rude answers stir up anger in the ones we are dealing with, while a gentle answer can diffuse a potentially volatile conversation.

Read 1Chronicles 29:11-13

What belongs to God?

Who determines each individual’s strength and status?

How should we treat what belongs to Him?

The cure for rudeness is an even playing field. An understanding of Whose we are and who we are dealing with. 

Recognizing every person as belonging to God and His placement of them in the world, should move us to respect everyone we come across and put aside rude behavior. All God’s beings deserve to be treated with honor.

Love always places others first. It considers the offense of others when it comes to our actions and seeks to honor them above ourselves.

What stories or examples in Scripture depict the fallout from rude behavior?

Consider who you are most often rude to. What motive lies behind your desire to dishonor someone? Do you respect this person?

Lord, reveal the root of rudeness in my heart. Heal me so I may honor and love others the same way You do.

This week’s spiritual discipline:

There are times we don’t realize our rudeness. Times we offend without meaning to. This week, ask God to reveal when you are being rude and why.

Questions for the Summer Soak journal:

Did you practice the spiritual discipline this week? why or why not?

Consider one of the times you were rude this week. What triggered the rudeness? If being rude is the symptom, what is the root?

Did you discover a respect issue in your life this week? Ask God to change this in you.

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