Summary: In this sermon we explore what it means that love is not rude.
A. I heard the story of a preacher, who was greeting people at the door after worship one Sunday.
1. As one of them left, he shook the minister’s hand, and said, ‘Thanks for the message. I would have to say that you are smarter than Einstein.”
2. Beaming with pride the minister said, “Why, thank you, brother!”
3. As the week went by, the minister began to think about the man’s compliment.
4. The more he thought, the more he became baffled as to why anyone would deem him smarter than Einstein.
5. The next Sunday, he asked the church member about the previous Sunday’s compliment. The minister asked: “Exactly what did you mean that I must be smarter than Einstein?”
6. The man replied, “Well, brother, they say that Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the world could understand him, but you’re even smarter because no one can understand you!”
7. I doubt that anyone will ever call me smarter than Einstein, but if they do, I hope it is not because no one can understand me!
B. Today we want to return to our Sermon Series - All You Need is Love.
1. We took a break from it last week for Friend Day, so I could give a simple but straightforward message about salvation and the urgency of becoming a Christian.
2. You might recall that our last sermon in this series addressed the fact that love is not proud.
3. We talked about how pride destroys relationships, and then we talked about how to cultivate a humble love.
4. We learned that a humble love comes from having the right view and value of ourselves, and the right view and value of others.
C. Today we want to learn about another thing that love is not – love is not rude.
1. Have you ever been treated rudely?
2. Have you ever been rude to someone else?
3. I’m guessing that all of us have experienced rudeness, and probably all of us have passed it on.
4. But if we are going to be like our God and live a life of love, then we must cultivate a love that is not rude.
D. When we look at the characteristics of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13, we learn that “love…is not rude” (vs. 5, NIV 1984).
1. The new NIV renders it “love…does not dishonor others.”
2. The NASB renders it “love…does not act unbecomingly.”
3. The KJV renders it “love..doth not behave itself unseemingly.”
4. The Holman Christian Standard Bible renders it “love…does not act improperly.”
5. The Message renders it “love…doesn’t force itself on others.”
E. From these renderings of the Greek word, we can begin to get a picture of what Paul was trying to say.
1. Love doesn’t act improperly, or dishonorably, or indecently.
2. Love doesn’t behave in an ugly or unbecoming manner.
3. Love doesn’t needlessly offend, or act bluntly or crudely.
4. Love does not behave gracelessly.
5. And so if you state it positively, love always behaves itself – it always acts properly and honorably, and decently and gracefully.
6. Rather than being rude, love acts with common courtesy.
F. Have you ever heard someone say:
1. “Well, they mean well…they just come across badly, but that’s just their way.”
2. Or, “Oh, you know me…I’m just straightforward and blunt. I’m the kind of person that, when something needs to be said, I say it.”
3. Or, after ruthlessly making a joke of someone, saying, “You know that I’m only kidding.”
4. If that is what we have to say about ourselves, or what we force others to say about us, then we are just wrong and unloving and must change.
5. We can’t excuse ourselves blaming our temperament or personality.
6. There is never an excuse for a Christian to be rude to anyone.
7. If we really want to show people that the love of God dwells in us, then we have to be careful that our love is not rude.
G. Rudeness can express itself in several ways.
1. A person can say something rude.
2. A person can do something rude.
3. Or, a person can fail to do something, and that omission is considered rude.
a. Like failing to say “thank you.’ Or failing to send a thank you note for a gift you received.
H. An example of rudeness was taken before the courts in Minnesota a few years back.
1. A man had fallen out of his canoe and had lost his temper.
2. Even though the river was lined with vacationing families, the man polluted the air with obscenities.
3. Some of those families who endured his filth, sued him in court.
4. He claimed, “I have my rights. I have a right to say anything I want to say!”