This following is from a friend who did not want to be named online, but did give me permission to reprint her email here….she makes a great point and God’s timing is impeccable as always!!
The following commentary was in the daily devotional I get from Oak Hills Church. I find it interesting because I’ve noticed how angry the community has become – at the stores, getting gasoline, listening to neighbors, at my hair stylist’s salon…people are always venting. Is it our stressed lifestyles? The nature of our culture (free speech interpreted as “say what you want”), our television culture (e.g. , , , , etc.), the anonymity of the Internet (blogging and complaint websites), the schism of our political parties. Do we — or did we, even in the dark ages — ever sit around in a group complimenting people and situations? Even in the ministry-based steering committee that I attend, 50% of the meeting is complaining about something or someone.
Anyway, about 19 months ago, I made a personal resolution to try to smile more and be complimentary when I’m out interacting with customer service workers… It doesn’t always work because sometimes I’m too stressed out to be nice, but then I remember how many customers like me that the cashier or counter agent has to work with hourly (particularly at ), and I swallow my bad humor. I’m surprised, in my year-long study of human nature, how people respond to a smile. Along comes this daily devotional which seems to reinforce what I’m thinking about.
[Love] is not rude.
1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
When defining what love is not, Paul put rudeness on the list. “It is not rude.” The Greek word for rude means shameful or disgraceful behavior.
An example of rudeness was recently taken before the courts in . A man fell out of his canoe and lost his temper. Though the river was lined with vacationing families, he polluted the air with obscenities. Some of those families sued him. He said, “I have my rights.”
God calls us to a higher, more noble concern. Not “What are my rights?” but “What is loving?”
Do you have the right to dominate a conversation? Yes, but is it loving to do so?…Is it within your rights to bark at the clerk or snap at the kids? Yes. But is it loving to act this way?
A Love Worth Giving