Summary: The Holy Spirit can help all Christians to love in ways that are not rude or self-seeking.

What did Jesus say would be the defining feature of those who followed him? The one thing that would set those who really love Jesus apart from other people?

John 13:34 ¶ “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So far we’ve learned

Love is patient, love is kind

Love does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud

This week we get to verse five of 1 Cor. 13, which starts out like this…

5 [Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking…

Love is not rude.

Love listens.

James 1:19 ¶ My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

How do you respond when you receive constructive criticism? How do you respond when someone needs to give you instruction? How do you respond when someone hurts your feelings?

The response of our flesh is strike back. Or to run away. Or to argue.

Part of learning to love people (and knowing you are being filled by God’s love) is that you don’t respond in any of these fleshly ways. Instead, you work hard at listening to what they are saying, and you slow down your own response. Because love is not rude.

Love keeps its promises.

There are few things more aggravating than to be in a relationship with someone who does not keep his/her promises. He says he will meet you for lunch – but he never shows up. She says she’ll help watch your kids – but at the last minute she cancels. He says he’ll be there for the school concert, but he misses it for one reason or another. The list could go on.

In Matthew 5:37, Jesus gives a very simple reminder that followers of Him should stick to their word:

Matt. 5:37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

When you say “yes” to something – keep that commitment. And learn to say “no” when you have no intention of following through on what you may be asked to do.

When you love someone, you demonstrate that love by being dependable, and sticking to your commitments. Because love is not rude.

Love respects others.

Our culture is quickly becoming one where common courtesy is being forgotten. Increasingly people seem to have the attitude “I’ll do what I want to do and I don’t care how it affects others.”

But when you love someone, you DO care how your actions affect them. Because love is not rude.

ILLUS: I was talking to Dave Browning this week and he shared with me a scenario that I think we can all relate with. He has a Macintosh laptop which was needing some service so he took it to a place in Bellingham that services Macs, figuring he’d be without his computer for 3-5 days.

But when he arrives he sees a sign, “Dear valued customers, please know that any computers dropped off for service will not be looked at for 10 business days.”

So he asks the man behind the counter – can I just make an appointment today to bring back my laptop in 10 days. “Nope – we’ve found that doesn’t work.”

After a few more minutes of haggling with him, the worker finally told him that actually what they’d do after those 10 days would be to put the computer in a box and mail it to the Apple service center in Illinois!

At that point Dave said he started looking around for a manager – and I interjected into the conversation “Love is not rude!”

Dave replied, one thing is certain I was not feeling the love at that moment!

I’ve had plenty of stories like that myself. I need to remember that love is not rude when I don’t get service the way I think I should or the company doesn’t seem to fulfill their obligations. I may be displeased, but I need to remember I’m an ambassador for Jesus Christ in ALL my interactions with others – and love is not rude!

When people encounter Christian people they should be happily surprised that they find them easy to get along with. Not pushy or abrasive.

When you witness to others about the difference Jesus has made in your life, and when you try to influence them to become followers of Jesus themselves, remember this: love is not rude.

When you’re in a conversation that turns heated because of the issues being discussed, and your blood pressure starts to rise, remember this: love is not rude.

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