“How rude!” That phrase was sometimes quoted by my daughters when they were little. It came from a sitcom in the 80s called Full House that featured 3 sisters, the middle one being the one who pronounced it every time things went wrong.
I’ve quoted that phrase a few times lately. I’ve seen a lot of rudeness around me and wondered at the audacity of those who have been spewing it out like volcanos, not caring that the hot lava words and actions are burning everything around them.
1 Corinthians 13 verse 5 calls it dishonoring. This Bible passage explains that love does not dishonor others. It is not rude. It does not burn others with their words or actions.
Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Of course, this is not just any love. It is Divine Love. Perfect Love. God’s Love.
As I have witnessed the rudeness and dishonoring going on in our world right now, God has impressed something on me. These volcano people are erupting because they do not know love. They do not feel love. They do not know what love is because they have not experienced it. Not real, Divine Love. (For more on Divine Love read this and this)
They have lived in the shallowness of the superficial love the world has to offer. An imposter love, designed by the enemy as a decoy to entice us away from Divine Love. They have not experienced the unconditional love that is waiting for them.
In other words, they don’t know what they don’t know.
My heart has begun to ache for them. God has shown me that no matter what lava they are spewing, whatever agenda they may be promoting, the bottom line is they are all in need of a saving love. They are in need of a Savior who divinely loves them.
I do have a choice in all of this, though. I can return rudeness for rudeness or dishonor for dishonor. Or, I can choose love. I can choose to let God’s Divine Love flow through me. I can’t muster it up myself. Believe me, I’ve tried. My natural response would be to try to douse the lava with a flame thrower. If you just chuckled at that, is it because you can relate?
As I’ve spent time with The Lord, reading His words, He has been reminding me that He never threw flames at volcano people. He certainly encountered volcano people when He lived on the earth, but His response was always one of Divine Love.
His Divine Love looked different every time but it was always perfectly timed and perfectly executed. Sometimes it was tough. Sometimes it was a question. Sometimes it was a story (called a parable). Sometimes it was with touch. Or spit. Or food. Or water.
It was different but it was personal to each person He interacted with. I had to ask myself a question, “Do I see everyone I encounter as an individual?” Or do I lump people together in groups and then cast judgment on all of them together according to what my experience has been?
You know, like saying all motorcyclists ride too close to my back bumper. Or all delivery drivers leave my packages in the rain instead of delivering them on my porch. Ahem. . . Or all politicians are liars.
God has made me uncomfortable enough to ask Him for help. I’ve asked God to allow me to see people as He sees them. To see past the words, agendas, actions, and attitudes and pray for them – individually. To recognize them as people who Jesus died for.
I haven’t seen much of a difference in other people since my aha moment with God. I have seen a difference in myself, though. I’ve felt the difference. This difference in me will not change the world today. Or tomorrow. Or next week.
I might never see any results of my redirected attitude but I’m not in charge of that. God is. It is His choice of how He will use me to love on others with His Divine Love. My job is to listen and obey. No flame throwers needed.