1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Last week we looked at the first part of the verse and were looking within ourselves to see if we were patient and kind towards God. Verse 4 is cut off after the word “proud” but soon after, the scripture continues and says, “or rude”.
Whether or not something is rude depends on the person on the receiving end. For some people, looking at them over the top of your glasses is rude. I was told that by my parents when I was younger. I did it more out of convenience than actually trying to be rude. See I’m short sighted so… it doesn’t matter. I can explain it all day but it doesn’t change the fact that when I did that to my parents they found it rude. See my parents were able to tell me that that was rude because we are in relationship with each other.
Are you aware of the things that God considers to be rude? There are times when I do something totally normal to me and I feel God saying, “Nah, we don’t do that.” God is always speaking to us it’s a matter of whether or not we are paying attention. Being rude to your friend, co-worker or cousin is one thing, being rude to God is another. In your dealings with God, are you being rude? How is your tone when you speak to Him when things seem to be falling apart? How are your thoughts towards Him?
I like the next part of the verse, love “does not demand its own way”. My pastors were recently talking about praying right. How prayer is not about manipulation. You know when people are crying and hoping to move God by their tears or declaring and decreeing that God does exactly what they want Him to do. We are not the bosses of God. We can’t “make Him” do anything. When we are praying or declaring or decreeing something it needs to be in alignment with what God said He wants to do or in alignment with His will over the situation and not in alignment with what we want Him to do. That’s demanding our own way.
“God better do this or else I’ll stop tithing.” People don’t usually say it out loud but they think it. Or it can be phrased like, “If this doesn’t happen then what’s the point of going to church or being a Christian?” Being a Christian doesn’t mean we get to tell God what to do. The first six letters of the word “Christian” is the word “Christ”. Being a Christian is about putting Christ first. Putting Jesus first and partnering with Him and His purpose in the Earth.
My pastors would say it this way, “We are not saved from something, we are saved for something.” We are saved for relationship not only with Jesus but with our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. There is a purpose to our salvation but for us to walk in it we must be willing to grow up and mature in Christ. Demanding to have our own way is a sign of immaturity.
To mature and grow in our love for God, we must look at how we talk to God. Are we being rude? We need to be full of honor and respect. He is our Father, but He is also God. We also need to stop demanding our own way and instead ask God to begin to reveal to us His plans and His purpose over the different situations we encounter so we can partner with His plans.
Love and blessings