It is not rude...
Thoughts for Today:As I read our passage today, I couldn't help but think about the guy I saw one day standing on a street corner in San Juan Capistrano. His shirt was emblazoned with various Bible verses, he held a sign above his head, and shouted passionately to the motorists as they passed by: "You are all sinners and must repent today or face the judgment of God!" Although certain pieces of his Gospel presentation were true, I really doubt anyone came to know Jesus as a result of his testimony. In fact, most people probably thought he was weird -- just like I did.
Last year I met a man who asked me to join him on Saturday mornings in Dana Point Harbor to pass out Bible tracts. He said, "If you are a true evangelist, you'll be there." I asked him, "How long have you been going and how many people have you led to Christ?" His answer, "Twelve years and one person -- I think. A lot of people get angry with me." When I asked, "Why?" He answered, "I guess they think I'm rude and just want to be left alone." It's a difficult dilemma for many. How do we share the Gospel, and God's message of love, without being rude or weird?
I always look to the example of Jesus first and foremost. Jesus radiated such love, warmth and honesty that people were naturally drawn to Him. In fact, Mark 12:37b tells us: "The large crowd listened to him with delight." Now that sounds like the right kind of evangelism to me. In our passage today, when Paul says that God's type of love is not rude, he is saying that His love will never drive a person to behave improperly. Therefore, anyone who is claiming to be motivated by God's love, yet is acting in a way that appears to be contrary to God's Word, should become suspect.
Questions to Ponder:In Jesus' day, it was the religious people (the Sadducees and Pharisees) who had a problem with Him, not the common people. It's the exact opposite today. Religious people understand us, but others think Christians are strange, offensive or rude. I think it has a lot to do with how people perceive us before we even say a word. What is your unspoken witness? Do you radiate love, warmth and honesty or something else?