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TEXT: I Corinthians 13:5a
SUBJECT: Attributes of Love #6: Love is Not Rude
This is the second Sunday afternoon of the month and time for-what? It's time for the Kids' Sermon. Now, children, I never want you to think this is the only sermon of the month you ought to listen to! You ought to listen to all true sermons because they're the Word of God and the Lord wants you to pay attention to them, believe them, and obey them.
I call this the Kids' Sermon-you know-because I prepare it with you especially in mind and because I'm going to ask questions as we go along in it. So, open your ears to what I say, open your hearts to God's Word, and-when I call on you-open your mouths with the right answers!
This is what we've looked at so far, but now we'll move on to the first part of v.5. It says
"Love does not behave rudely".
(The King James Version of the Bible says love does not "behave itself unseemly". And that's right-it doesn't. But the word "unseemly" is one we don't use very often. We say "rude" and that's what it means. There's no mistake in the older Bible, but it's just an old-fashioned way of saying the same thing).
Love is not rude! That's the subject for today.
EXAMPLES OF RUDENESS
We can all name rude things. Let me tell you five I thought of. After I do that I want you to name five more.
Now, it's your turn. Can you name five rude things (without being rude in naming them!)?
THE MEANING OF RUDENESS
All of these things are rude. But why are they rude? Why is it rude to pick your nose at church or to chomp and slurp your food at the dinner table or to laugh too much or too loudly in a restaurant?
These things don't seem to be connected, but they are. What they have in common is this: They don't care about the feelings of other people.
Maybe you nose itches terribly, but other people don't want to see you pick it! Maybe you like to eat soup with a straw but it grosses out other people! Maybe you have a lovely singing voice, but others don't want you to sing over the movie they're trying to watch!
Rudeness is not about breaking silly, fussy man-made rules! It's about breaking the second most important rule God ever gave us. And what's that? What's the Second Commandment-second only to loving God with all of your heart, soul, and mind?
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself".
If you don't want others to muddy up the carpet you have to clean, don't muddy up the carpet they have to clean. If you don't want others to gawk and point at you, don't gawk and point at them. It's as simple as that. Good manners are nothing but keeping the Golden Rule. Rudeness is nothing but breaking it:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
LOVE AND RUDENESS DON'T GO TOGETHER
Some things go together like a hand and a glove, like a foot and a____________, or like a Thanksgiving Dinner and a___________.
Other things don't always go together but can because there's nothing in the one to contradict the others. Think of a red square or a tall man or quiet music.
But some things are so contrary to one another that they cannot go together! Like a square circle or mammal that lays eggs or boiling water at 30 degrees! These things do not fit together and cannot be made to!
And neither can love and rudeness! Love is the opposite of rudeness and rudeness is the opposite of love! A rude love or a loving rudeness is like a fish with feathers-if it's got feathers, it is not a fish; if it's a fish, it's got no feathers!
Do you know why?
Because rudeness thinks of you while love thinks of others. The man who yells in the restaurant doesn't care if others like it or not-because he likes it. The man who speaks softly in a restaurant cares about the others sitting around him even if he likes to boom out every word, he doesn't, for the sake of others.
WHO WANTS YOU TO BE RUDE?
Who wants you to be rude?
--Does God want you to be rude?
--Do your parents what you to be rude?
--Do good people want you to be rude?
--Do foolish friends?
I don't have to prove to you that your parents want you to be polite. The Bible says the Lord does too-Philippians 2:3 is a fine example, and so an even better one is Matthew 20:28:
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself".
"Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for the many".
Good friends want the best for you-and rudeness is not the best. They are bad friends-even if you like them-who want you to be rude or obnoxious or offensive. But what does the Word of God say about such friends? It says,
"My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent".
Say no to their foolish advice and don't follow their sinful ways. If they have to be rude, let them, but you don't have to be. If being polite puts you out of their group, you're better off out of it-even if they're the coolest kids in school! It's better to be a polite dork than a cool playa! But, of course, you don't have to be a dork to be polite!
Behind their evil advice, there is a power and a person they don't know-they serve him, though they don't think they do. The person is Satan, who, the Bible says,
"Works in [or energizes] the children of disobedience".
If rudeness is the opposite of love and if God is love then rudeness is the opposite of God. This means that rudeness makes no one happy but the devil and his servants.
I don't want you to do that! Your parents don't. And the Lord doesn't.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT RUDENESS
If the Lord doesn't want you to be rude, what do you do about getting rid of it? And being the polite and loving person He wants you to be?
Love begins with conversion. Maybe you're a rude and obnoxious kid-not because your parents didn't try-but because you're not saved. Maybe you never think of others because you think only of yourself. No one is perfectly unselfish, but a totally selfish life is an unsaved life. You need to start-not by trying harder (which is good)-but by apologizing to God for your sins and putting your faith in Jesus Christ to be your Savior!
Love takes practice. If you are saved, you won't suddenly be the most loving person in the world! No, love (like playing baseball or the piano) takes practice-a lot of it. You begin practicing love by:
These are very practical things, things you can do this afternoon. If you're tempted to grab something from your brother or to bawl out your sister, stop for a minute and ask if you're being selfish or not. Maybe the thing he has a hold of belongs to you, but is grabbing it the polite way of getting it back? Can't you ask for something or even correct someone without using harsh and ugly words?
Love needs fuel. Love, like a fire, will go out without fuel to keep it going. The fuel that keeps our love warm and glowing are the usual things, the things I talk about all the time:
Do these things-and with the Lord's blessing-you'll replace rudeness (which is a bad thing) with the best thing of all: love. God bless you!
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