Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I Don’t Mean to be Rude but . . .
This particular conversation was between some girls who did not appear to be getting along very well. As the conversation continued to become more and more tense, one of the girls said “I’m not trying to be rude but . . .” and then went on to say some things that were extremely rude. Her tone of voice, her body language, and the words she used, all indicated that she was indeed being rude and that she both knew she was rude and meant to be rude. Her “I’m not trying to be rude...” introduction was just a ploy to be able to say whatever mean thing she wanted while pretending to be nice.
Though this particular incident involved teens, I have heard similar things among adults. Far too often starting a sentence with “I’m not trying to be rude but . . .” is just a thinly disguised way to be rude and get away with it. While sometimes it might not be intentional, most often it is. Such rudeness, thinly disguised as politeness, fools no one and does not accomplish anything positive.
The world may treat each other that way, but we Christians should aspire to higher standards. We Christians should aspire to treat each other with dignity and respect as brothers and sisters in the family of God. If we do not mean to be rude, then we should not BE rude. If we realize we are being rude, we should stop mid-sentence and apologize. After all, none of us are perfect. What we cannot do is just continue to be rude thinking that we are fooling others into believing that we are polite.
Rudeness will not gain us friends nor bring honor to the Savior. As Christians, we should strive to be friendly (Proverbs 18:24) and we should seek to bring honor to the Savior in all that we say and do (Colossians 3:17). This gives us all something to think about the next time we are having a tense conversation with someone else and are tempted to be rude while pretending to be polite.
For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus.