Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Being Disrespectful Displeases the Lord

Love “isn't RUDE. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5 God’s Word Translation).

I received this message when I paged through the book in which Charis recorded all the Lord’s messages to us and many other people. What struck my attention was the Lord’s repeated warning to us NOT to be rude. Strikingly, one brother was warned that his habitual rudeness will land him in Hell. As it is, most of these messages to the various individuals were given in a serious tone, because the Lord phrased it as, I have a serious message for my son or daughter ….It is not hard to figure out that somebody rude has anger, hurtful feelings and operates from the absence of peace. Being rude shows the presence of evil and God’s absence!

Offensive Christians

As Christians, we are expected Biblically to live our lives completely free from any kind of ungodly influences and evil behaviour (Ephesians 4:22-32). Literally, the Bible encourages a very high standard of holy living, free from a willful and evil attitude. It means in our conduct love, patience and humility must be evident. In other words, a Christian must be seen to be simply different ready to shine forth in love.

Having been around many Christians in ministry work, I did come across very nasty ‘Christians’ who displays a sour attitude of extreme hateful and hurtful behaviour. In almost spontaneity, they display the fruits of anger, dislike of others, intolerance, keeping away from associating and participating in any ministry activity and avoiding the trouble of working for the benefit of others. In their love for troublesome behaviour, it is almost an offense to correct such ‘Christians’. No doubt, their inclination and obsession to their old attitude is nothing more than just a redress and not a complete change of heart and attitude. Being Christian requires of us to BE from the heart and our attitudes will be inviting, easy, approachable and a comfort to the troubled (2 Timothy 2:24). As Christians, we must continuously and consciously live to display a gentle attitude not by pretence but by a genuine conviction of devotion to this lofty life of peace in Christ.

Therefore, the direct opposite of being rude is to be respectful. Usually, we regard it as common practice when we act offensively towards others and this is rudeness. It is offensive and rude to interrupt and cut others off. It is equally rude and offensive to react angrily to a person’s previous misconduct; instead, we should pursue peaceful relations and overlook offensive behaviour (Proverbs 19:11; Hebrews 12:14). Being counselled by the Lord, I was told not to angrily and grudgingly respond to people’s offensive opinions and remarks (comments) but in gentleness and kindness we should correct (2 Timothy 2:25). In addition, some time ago, a brother [John] shared with me how he regretted innocently offending another brother [James] without ever thinking what he said would appear offensive. In reply and surprisingly, the brother James responded with much anger, hurt, and succeeded in conveying his foul mood and attitude towards brother John. To avoid a deeper feud caused by a misunderstanding, Brother John wisely toned down his response in a spirit of peace and to save their brotherly relationship in Christ. We all act as impetuously at times, it would be only to our benefit to learn from the experience of our brother John. So then, the presence of the love and peace of Christ in our hearts drives away the troublesome spirit of being rude (Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Peter 4:8).

Other Rude Ways

In the Good Manners article, we shared that it is rude when children stay preoccupied with technology and other things in their rooms while neglecting to greet guests. In encouraging the brethren with Having Love in Yourself, we also shared that the abrasive, rude and an unkind Christian does not bear good fruit but dwells in the parched land and away from the fruitfulness and nourishment found in Christ alone (Jeremiah 17:6).We must remain in Jesus Christ in order to bear good fruit and not be cut down (John 15:1-4). Some people are rude and disrespectful to their own family members but kind and respectful to their co-workers and friends whom they desire favour from. This is impartially showing love (James 2:1-7; Colossians 3:25).

We also shared in Life Through Experiences With The Lord Jesus Christ - Part II, that screaming at others during a normal conversation with an angry tone or bitterness is being rude. Some parents instead of Bringing up Children in the Fear of the Lord will resort to changing their tones by screaming, shouting, and yelling at their children in an effort to get obedience. Parents are called not to provoke children to anger (Ephesians 6:4) and the Lord showed that screaming, yelling, and shouting comes from a hateful spirit and is from the DEVIL. Being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, Christians are called not to do the enemy's will by being rude but to do God's will in bearing good fruit (Matthew 5:13-16; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Corinthians 6:14).

Breaking the Cycle of Rudeness

My family and I just returned from a recent witnessing campaign to a town approximately 400 kilometres (about 250 miles) from Johannesburg and this was in response to a vision that we received from the Lord. In the vision to Jaydeen In early January 2016, and almost similar to the Apostle Paul’s (Acts 16:9-10) she was shown two elderly people we know who lives in that town saying, “You (referring to all of us) did not finish the work you started here, you must return to complete your work”. During our December 2015 visit to this town, we took some evangelising material like tracts with us to do some witnessing during the holidays. However, we did not have enough tracts with us to cover the entire area so we managed to cover a few streets. Knowing how many people still needed to be reached we went obediently and well resourced with tracts. By the grace and goodness of the Lord, we managed to evangelise, inspire and encourage the local Christians to witness as we circled the entire town with the help of a few willing and spirited local boys and girls. However, this exercise did not come without problems and since this seemed to be a new thing to the locals we were met with hostility and suspicion. However, the team and I were equally armed with love, patience, humility and gentle kindness (Galatians 5:22) and this grace from the Lord broke and silenced the spirit of rudeness because “…so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 NIV). As a result of our sincerity and truth, the locals responded respectfully as we showed obedience to the message we presented to them.

Brethren, as people it is common sense that we naturally engage in relationships with others and how we manage such relationships depends on our values. Some of our values might be motivated by our relationship with the Lord, our attitudes in submission to the new life in the Lord and our love for others (Mark 12:31). Basically, we break the cycle of the old person of being rude as other sinful things when we adopt an attitude to adapt to the new life in Christ. In so doing, we forcefully break the chambers of resistance to a new life in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). This takes place when we willingly give in and over our own appetites, desires and will in exchange for the life of the cross. Now just listen to the Words of the Lord, “…My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39). It is therefore our willingness to be humble and submit by a strong conviction to please God that the old chains of bondage give way to the refreshing and non-offending new life (Ephesians 5:21).

In conclusion, in the old worldly life, it was encouraging to be mean, oppressing of others, controlling and showing off, but in the new life in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must live with respect and love according to His will (2 Corinthians 5:17). This includes giving soft answers instead of returning insult for insult and reviling for reviling (Proverbs 15:1; 1 Peter 3:9).Therefore, are you still willing to just like the teachings of the Lord but consciously and willfully live by the dictates of the old man of being rude, disrespectful and disobedient? Against our will, we must choose the Lord’s kindness – it is for our eternal good. Scripturally, Heaven is for the childlike, the humble and those who seek peace (Matthew 5:3-10).

To accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Be blessed in the Lord’s peace and kindness,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.