Love does not Dishonor. What does “dishonor” mean? Some different Bible translations read as “It is not rude”. “Never haughty or selfish or rude.” “Does not force itself on others.”
Using the “rude” definition for dishonor have you noticed how it has become acceptable in our culture to be rude? In fact people can even make their living being rude. They are called political commentators, talk radio hosts. We even see rudeness emanating from people in leadership roles. In fact it can be considered a strength in a leader. Huh?
Let us consider women. Just a few short decades ago they used to go after the guys with what society considered polite qualities. Now women are looking for the rude guys, the bad boys. Today guys with these polite qualities would be perceived as weak and frail. How can women perceive and accept rudeness as strength and a sign of confidence? That blows me away. Have you noticed how many of those relationships fail miserably?
In the same way, many Christians believe that God is rude and they would not have it any other way. They too believe it is evidence of His strength and power. Have you ever seen a cheer go up when it appears that God puts someone in their place by publicly humiliating them or raining disaster on their livelihood. You will see them exchange stories of how God got His point across to someone by exposing their hidden sin to the world. Examples?
Have you ever tried this experiment with your dog? Spoken hateful things in a nice voice or nice things in a hateful voice? Does your dog respond to your words or to your tone?
When we believe that God is rude, everything we hear from Him will come from this Rude TONE. In the end, we hear what we expect to hear. We have put a filter on God that skews EVERYTHING.
One of the reasons we struggle to hear God is that we may be tuned into a “rude station”. Just like our discussion of the Impatient God-where we are tuned into the Angry-Impatient-God-station. When we expect to hear a correction, a rebuke, or a cold callous direct order and because this is all they’ve been taught to listen for, we rarely if ever hear from God.
Looking at Scripture. The only way the Bible can be properly interpreted is if the reader knows and understands the Tone of the Author’s heart. Read the Bible with that filter and rudeness practically jumps off the page. When we throw rude tones of condemnation and anger on top of His words of encouragement and love those very words take on a different meaning. A meaning that will lacerate our hearts and minds resulting in us cowering from God. Sadly, it takes many years for God’s children to recover from these fearful impressions.
Truth ceases to be Truth when it is not spoken in Love. Truth and Love are interwoven. Take out the love and the Truth goes out with it. This is why so many Christians are hiding from God. Loving words of Truth have been spoken to them in an angry and unloving voice.
The Christian faith is based on a rude God who deals with us thru “because I said so.” Just try questioning the Bible or the Pastor. Should you dare to ask why, your entire faith is on trial. This attitude has created a religious “safeguard” that prevents people from asking “why?” You don’t need to understand, or ask why, just do as it says. Another word for this is Dogma or maybe even Legalism.
The flip side is that people can hide behind the Bible with “because the Bible says so.” Well, that serves to simply shut people up. After all, who can question the Bible? In truth such attitudes call for us to surrender individual thinking and blindly accept anything without question. (Taken to an extreme this becomes a cult.)
Now, sometimes to ask “why” regarding a verse is misconstrued as Doubt. We’ve been told to not Doubt and simply act on “just because”. We have been taught that God does not owe us an explanation or negotiate. All that He wants is our blind obedience. And many people believe that blind obedience is a sign of great spiritual maturity.
Thus we have come to believe that God is a rude slave master who is not interested in our opinion.
God is not Rude
Though it may be a popular religious perspective that God treats us as immature children it simply is not true. God actually respects us. Why do I know that? Because Scripture speaks of us as His children, His heirs. We know that God took counsel from Abraham (about Sodom), we know that He walked in the Garden with Adam, Moses asked to see His glory so God hid him in the cleft of the rock, He responded to Gideon’s fleece,
God never intended for our relationship to be like the General commanding mindless soldiers. Jump! How high! It is about RELATIONSHIP. When you ask “why?” He will help you understand. If you need time to “get it” then He will patiently walk with us as we grow and learn. Our present-day view of obedience in religious circles instantly terminate the possibility of a two-way conversation.
Do not fear that God will ever humiliate you in order to humble you or teach you a lesson. Exposing an unfinished work is improper. We are His Masterpiece and He sees deep within us and know what we truly are and can be. Yes we are a work in progress…but resting in the hands of the Master. Christ did not come to EXPOSE our sins but COVER them.
The constant state of insecurity is the very power of religion.
God will never be rude to you for one basic reason: He resolved to be with us in relationship. So much so, He asked His very Son to come to earth and cover our sin. God has more at stake in this relationship than we could ever imagine.