I Corinthians 13-4-7 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
The next characteristic of love is that it is not rude, unmannerly or unbecoming. This doesn’t only mean when we are at church or out to dinner, or at our kid’s school. This means when we are at home too! Are we as courteous and respectful to our spouses, our children, and our parents as we are to those we come into contact with in public? How often are we sweet and polite to people we are acquainted with, or sometimes those that we don’t even know, yet discourteous and disrespectful to the people that we are most comfortable with?
Our actions and words should be polite and flattering to the recipient, even if they are not deserving. I think of Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance. Even when others don’t exhibit the kind of respect that we would prefer toward us, we still need to act appropriately toward them. Proverbs 30:32-33 in the Message Bible tells us 32 If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, Don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose. Churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights. Rather than stir up emotions and anger by acting rude, we need to remember what Proverbs 15:1 says A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. Instead of being rude, use your words to give that soft answer that will turn around even the most resistant individual.
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