Deference versus Rudeness
A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. ~Charles H. Spurgeon
Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown
Synonyms for Deference: respect, esteem, regard, reverence, admiration, awe, submissiveness
Antonyms for Deference: disrespect, rudeness, noncompliance
What the Bible Says About Deference:
Zechariah 7:9-10 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Titus 3:1-15 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, …
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
Matthew 5:43 -45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
Examples From the Bible:
The story of David, Nabal, and Abigail
Joseph was kind to his brothers who sold him into slavery.
Ruth and Naomi
The Good Samaritan
The 4 friends who brought a cripple to be healed by Jesus
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 6:1-34 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …
Jesus socialized with social outcasts such as lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves, etc. He showed them politeness, compassion, and forgiveness. He met them where they were. He taught that we should be in submission to those in authority over us, and that we should treat each other with decency, kindness, and respect. He even taught us to love our enemies and to do good to them even if they mistreated us.
Personal Thoughts and Application:
Love is NOT rude….therefore a Christian should NOT be rude. We are watched more than we realize by the lost and they expect, yes , even need us, to show them a higher level of conduct than the world commonly practices today. Even in the midst of conflict, a Christian can model strength and self-control as they confront or defend, without resorting to rudeness or outbursts of anger. As I often tell my children, you may have something you disagree with or something that upsets you, but there is always a nice way to communicate it.
If we believe in the sovereignty of God, then even when things are done that upset and anger us, we should be able to rest in the comfort of knowing that He is in control. When we have enemies in our lives, we should ask God to help us love them because that is what He commands us to do. In turning over to God the wrongs another commits against us, we ultimately surrender our trust to Him.
Dr. Don Dunlap, a former Christian counselor, would give his clients who needed to let go of bitterness, assignments for their enemies. He would ask them to do an anonymous act of kindness for that enemy, and ask God to bless them. He found that assignment, once carried out, helped many to find a release they had needed for a long time. May I challenge you this week to perform at least one random act of kindness and ask for God’s blessing on that recipient. If you have someone who is an enemy or difficult to deal with, then it would be great to choose that person to bless. Just as God’s word does not go out void, kindness that is genuinely motivated by Christ’s love serves an eternal purpose even if we don’t see the results immediately or personally.
Prayer For You: May you exhibit good manners, kindness, respect and good will to those you meet, no matter how kind or loving they are to you. May God fill your heart with the kind of love that can even love an enemy, and may He help you to relinquish all bitterness and desire to retaliate when others are not kind or fair to you.
Teaching Values: Kindness, Bible Talk with Jeff Asher http://www.bibletalk.net/articles/kindness.html
Walking In Kindness http://www.daleholloway.com/2011/03/biblical-kindness.html