It is written:
1 Corinthians 13:5- (love)….does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
The example of Christ in a person’s life may be greatly diminished by rude behavior. Barclay reminds us that the Greek words for “grace” and “charm” are the same.
We live in a day and age where rude behavior is often celebrated, where good manners are not taught or practiced. It shows up in the behavior of those who either know no better, or in those who simply do not care.
How often do we hear statements such as, “I like people being put in their place,” or, “We need to just tell it like it is, whether people like it or not!” With statements such as these, rude words are often justified and unnecessary and vicious wounds are inflicted on the souls of men, women, and children.
Love, however, does not behave rudely!
The Bible tells us this about Jesus:
Isaiah 42:1-3-Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.
This passage speaks of the Messiah being One Who would encourage the sons of men in kindness. He would not use His speech to needlessly injure, but to heal.
The language of a “bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench,” has always stood out to me. It is the imagery of a lit candle that is about to be put out, the reed of a candle that is ready to break. How often are we like this? We are ready to crumble under the pains of life, or are ready to collapse into ruin from the fiery troubles that this world always somehow finds to engulf us in.
Yet the Messiah would work to mend these wounds. He would not come into the world and strive to be rude and impatient with those who are hurting; He would speak peace to their spirits and calm their troubled souls.
Paul speaks in another passage:
2 Timothy 2:24-26-And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Christians should do the best we can to make our words and actions those which bring healing.
Colossians 4:6-Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Paul says that our words should“always be with grace,” and they should be “seasoned with salt.” What does the phrase seasoned with salt mean? It is an Old Testament designation used in Leviticus 2:13 to refer to how sacrifices offered to God would be purified by salt. The salt made them acceptable. The same phrase was used in Mark 9:49 by Jesus to refer to Hell, the idea being that Hell was designed by God to be a place where hopefully one day even the most wicked would be purified. So, we should strive to make our words such that they will bring healing, and will help purify the hurts of those around us.
Christian, your words and your actions have the power in life to be healing and comforting.
When you have the choice of being loving or being rude, choose to be loving.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.