Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.
John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.
It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.
Love like Jesus.
Love is the goal of all of Christian life. Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus. The life and death of Jesus. This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13. Let’s consider.
Love is not rude.
It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.
Jesus is not rude
As many who read these posts know, I am Canadian by birth, and the typical characteristic of a Canadian is that they are sooooo polite. One of our favorite words is “sorry”, and my mother drilled it in my head to say “please” and “thank-you” everytime I opened my mouth.
This rude thing – I got it. I am the most unrude fella you will come across (A bit arrogant aren’t we Carl?)
Sorry ’bout that mate!
This anti-description of love is only spoken of twice in the New Testament. The other passage is also in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 7:36
If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.
One thing to notice regarding my definition of “rude” is based on speech. This Greek term is a verb, and not simply a description of a fella saying the right polite words. Don’t get me wrong – Christians should exhibit honor to others in their speech, and part of that is politeness as I have described.
I think Paul has a bigger picture going on here in this passage. Notice that the Greek word we are looking at begins with “a”. This is the prefix a Greek writer would use to negate the word. We do the same today, when we use “athiest” to describe one who says no to God, or to the existence of God.
Lets look at the term without the negation.
Paul uses the greek word euschēmonōs to call for proper, decent or seemly behavior on the part of believers
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
Okay – walking properly is described in negatives in this verse and confronts self control, sexual fidelity, anger/pride and jealousy. Nothing specifically about politeness Carl – You may want to reconsider your limited assumption at the beginning of the post!
1 Corinthians 14:40
But all things should be done decently and in order.
Paul is giving a summary conclusion at the end of a chapter dealing with tongues and prophecy. These gifts, that is the tongues gift, was being coveted by the Corinthians. It was showy, flashy and “proved” God was talking to and through you.
No matter where you stand on the tongues issue, be decent! Behave properly in the exercise of your gift in the body of Christ. Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.
1 Thessalonians 4:12
so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Paul does not restrict a believers responsibility to act properly to those within the church. This is a characteristic of the spirit led believer, that is to act decently, properly and seemly amongst those who do not share the faith we have.
Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.
Jesus replacing Love
So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?
Let’s summarize the idea of rudeness described in our passage. To be rude is to not behave properly, decently and in an orderly fashion.
Was Jesus rude in speaking to the Pharisse’s in Matthew 23, giving a scathing indictment on their actions. Remember, rude is an action word and may not apply to a prophet declaring the truth. So I think not. He was simply expressing love in giving them warning!
Well, how about when He overturned the temple trade tables, and whipped the animals out of the Temple. This is an action that may be construed as rude, but for two things.
- It was His Father’s house!
It was not done in an unseemly way. Check out the description of how Jesus prepared for this action.
And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
2. This action took time!
It is informative to note that the Lord took the time to “make a whip of cords”. This speaks of a deliberateness, a time of controlled anger, of planning and performing in a specific manner. I suppose this statement removes from my thinking that He simply reacted to the situation. A bad situation, that He addressed in a proper manner. The very definition of not being rude
Please join me in our next study where we will consider love as not demanding!
It would be silly for me to insist you come visit next time, but it would be good to see you visit, as we continue considering the Bible and the message we are hearing on the topic of love.
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.