Sometimes people say dumb things but sometimes people are just rude.  Do you know people that have a track record of speaking without regard to others?

If you ask them why they speak as they do, they may respond, “I just speak my mind.”  Translation:  I’m ok with being rude to others.

I’ve known individuals that have said “innocently dumb” things.  I’ve been innocently dumb and you probably have too but those with a pattern of running over people are a different story.

I Can Be Dogmatic Myself About Things

I realize that I can be dogmatic about my faith but I know that we’re not going to win anyone to the faith by being dogmatic AND rude.  With all of my heart, I trust God’s Word.

You can disagree with me and I’m ok with that but don’t be rude.  Rude people can get under my skin.

So how should Christ-followers respond to rude and stupid people?

Here’s a good guideline when disagreeing with someone:

“Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Just don’t say it mean.”

Jesus said:

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?   And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”  -Matthew 5:46-47

That’s not my natural nature.  I usually want to  “breathe fire upon them” in a cutting way with my own tongue.  My natural nature would be to jump right back down their throat.

The deal is, our response is what is supposed to separate Christ’s followers from others.  Any natural person would want to get even but we aren’t supposed to think “naturally” anymore.  We’re Christ followers and that makes us different.  (Not doormats, but different.)

Reach deep inside and ask God to help you to love the person behind the jerk.  Jesus died for them too.  I am learning to try to say what I need to say but do it with a smile if possible.  Sometimes words aren’t even warranted.

How do you deal with Rude Jerks in your life?

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Ever feel like letting go with both barrels at someone?  How about the driver that cut you off?  What about the waitress that made a mistake?  It could be that members of your own family could be victims of your verbal wrath.  We’ve all been guilty of letting someone “have it” with our words.

The truth is, that’s not ok.

James 1:26 says “if anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless”

Harsh words can destroy a person.  The old saying that “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me” is simply not true.  I’ve seen many people harmed by words of others who claim to follow Christ.

Matthew 15:18 tells us that what comes out of a person’s mouth comes from the heart.  If we are in the habit of saying hurtful things or talking to friends or family in harsh tones, maybe we need to look at our own heart.

We can’t control another person’s actions.  Though we may rationalize and say that we were harsh because the other person “frustrated” us, that’s simply not true.  The other person can’t MAKE you be rude.  You do that yourself.

What if someone is rude to you?  Is it ok to be rude back?

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentile answer turns away wrath but harsh words stir up anger.”

Let’s use our words to build others up and not tear people down.  There are enough people that do that.  Be an encourager!  That will draw people to you and then you can point them to Christ.  When we are rude and people know that you claim to follow Christ, you point them in the other direction.

You can do it.  Say something nice and make it a habit!