It is not uncommon, sadly, that some brethren (brothers & sisters) have developed a bad habit of talking to others in a rude & hurtful way. While this may not be intentional, if it is a continual action, it causes the hearer to begin to wonder does it not? Notice the definition of the word rude, “offensively impolite or ill-mannered” (bing.com). Not only are some rude today, some “talk down” to others, this is often done when trying to make the other person feel ignorant or inferior. Isn’t it sad that such attitudes exist in the Lord’s church today?
Sadly, the first example that comes to mind is preachers & teachers. Some today have developed the habit of talking to other preachers, teachers and members in such a way as to convey the idea that they are not intelligent. That’s putting it politely. When questions are asked, some respond with rudeness that includes mocking, poking fun or implying that the individual is stupid for asking such a question. What’s interesting is that often this rudeness does not include an answer to the question at all. Poor manners do not make for a proper answer to any question.
Others can project the attitude of arrogance for multiple reasons. A trend that’s too common today is a preacher being arrogant and rude because of his education. Just because someone attended a school and received a degree does not make that person educated in the scriptures. This point has been illustrated repeatedly and very clearly.
The second example is from individual church members. For example, while it is a good idea to encourage others to read and study their Bible daily, it must be done with love. It’s hard for others to feel love if they are being belittled repeatedly. Another example, is to imply that others do or do not study the Bible because the individual asks a question.
We must be careful to not misunderstand or misinterpret someone’s intentions. A proclamation of Bible truth is not being rude simply because it steps on your toes. Some people say things in a rude way while others believe you are rude for simply saying anything at all, the two are not the same.
The problem it seems for some is that their attitude towards others is not according to the word of God. Some believe the “truth in love” approach is saying the truth because you love them, and that gives them the right to be harsh, aggressive, arrogant, and rude. This is not biblical. Truth in love is just that, we warn, teach, or preach the truth of God’s Word and present it in a loving manner. Just because you have the truth or know the truth does not give you the right to be rude. I have yet to see anyone won for Christ with this approach. Neither will there be many who are encouraged with such an approach.
The solution is one that will seem probably “weak” to those who enjoy the rude approach to which they are accustomed. Brethren need to be encouraged to read and study and questions need to be answered with love. Doing things in love must include love, if it does not we should not be surprised when those who are treated poorly leave the congregation or even goes back into the world. Why attend a congregation where someone’s idea of encouragement is harsh and rude?
Those who have such an approach need to examine themselves and decide if they will change their approach to brethren or not, this would include apologies and repentance to those to whom they have treated so harshly. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).
If we love the brethren we will encourage them and build them up in the faith with love in our hearts and not with rudeness on our lips.
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