30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Nineteen - The Rude Tongue
There ill be a highway called the Holt Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It's for God's people exclusively - Isaiah 35:8
What has made us so rude? Is it the overbooked schedules, longer commuting times, demanding bosses, spoiled children, and the stress of daily living? Perhaps our lack of patience can be attributed to the modern conveniences that allow us to do almost everything in mere seconds. Showing patience is a rare occurrence. Ill-mannered, discourteous communication has become standard practice -- Even among God's children.
Being rude to others is very denigrating to them and can spoil their entire day. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do to you - Luke 6:31 Do unto others? Why, we do not even have time to think about others! We are totally absorbed with our own agendas. Many of us can be counted among cell phone users who parade around public places talking at the top of their voices as if no one else is present. Cell phone users seem to be totally oblivious to their annoying and offensive social misconduct. It is no wonder that many relationships are so shallow these days.
Speaking of additional acts of rudeness, what about the cashiers at the checkout stands who are so engaged in their conversations with each other that they ever offer, "hello"? That is so rude. And let's not forget the executive who takes phone calls during a meeting. This is disruptive and disrespectful.
Shouldn't our love for God and the desire to represent Him well here on earth have an impact on our day-to-day behavior? Love is patient and kind. Love is not... rude. Love does not demand its own way - 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
What if someone is rude to us? Should we just let it go? Is it biblical to address the situation or should we just grin and bear it? While God has not called us to be a wimpy milquetoast (a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated) who always rolls over and accepts rude behavior, we must confront rudeness in a direct but nonoffensive manner. It ma not be necessary to tell a person, "You are so rude." However, it is a good idea to let her know you are aware of her lack of graciousness at the moment. Sometimes a well-phrased, caring questions will do the trick. "Tough day, huh?" Of course, if you really feel that you have been mistreated, you should report the incident to someone in authority where possible. Some people continue their rudeness because they get away with it; reporting it may bring consequences that will ultimately change their behavior. Most importantly, do not allow people to suck you into the vacuum of their negativity by matching their rudeness with rudeness. There is never a justification for being rude.
If you find you tend to speak rudely to others, repent and recommit to the following Golden Rule. Know that when you are rude, you have made a very selfish and ungodly decision that your needs or concerns are paramount to all others.
God's people are patient, considerate, and kind. Remember that tomorrow when you encounter a person whose actions beg you to respond in an ungodly way.
I will slow down and take the time to do unto others as I would have them do unto me.