God is Not Rude
The greatest advice on how to live our lives was given by Jesus. We know it as the Golden Rule. Jesus told his first followers to treat others as you would want to be treated. That’s the best way to treat people….the way you want to be treated. All of us want to be treated with respect and kindness. All of us want to be treated with dignity. I know that I want to be treated with respect, kindness and dignity. Unfortunately I don’t always treat others that way.
As I think about Jesus and the way that He taught us to live, the question comes to mind: does God live by the standards He lays out for us? I believe that many people think that God lays out the “rules” but doesn’t live by them. In other words, He expects us to live by the Golden Rule but He doesn’t live by it. Many feel that God is rude and is a harsh taskmaster. In their minds He expects them to toe the line, and if they step out of line then they will pay a heavy price.
I believe that God lives by the standards He sets for His creation. As a matter of fact, Jesus is the prototype of a new humanity1. Jesus is the epitome of what it means to be human. Jesus always treated people according to the Golden Rule. Jesus was never rude or dishonoring to those around him, even to his enemies. He was stern at times but never rude.
Jesus is the exact representation of our Heavenly Father. God is just like Jesus and has always been like Jesus. Jesus gives us the perfect picture of who the Father really is. Since Jesus was never rude, God isn’t rude. Since God is love (1 John 4:7) and love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5), then we know that God is not rude.
Love doesn’t act in a dishonoring way. Love always seeks the best for the relationship. Love always seeks the best for the other person. Love always seeks to understand and to lift up. When we are rude, it only serves to push someone away from us. God is always looking to draw people to Himself in reconciliation.
Love always seeks the good of the relationship. Rudeness always is based upon selfishness and pride. Rudeness is based in the attitude of “I am better than you”. Jesus never took the attitude that He was better than anyone. He always served people. He always lifted people up through serving. People who are rude cannot serve others because of their prideful attitude.
Some think that God is rude in that He is ready to expose our sin, yet love covers a multitude of sins. Only a rude God would expose our sins to others. God, in His great grace and love, forgives our sins and remembers them no more. This is part of His New Covenant. God is not interested in exposing our sins. He is interested in forgiving us, restoring us and lifting us up beyond that which holds us down.
God is not rude because He is love and love is never rude. Rudeness is based in pride and selfishness. God is love and does not suffer from pride and selfishness.
Do you think God is rude? Why do you think people think He is rude, or acts rudely?
1 For a great book on how Jesus is the prototype of a new humanity see Jonathan Martin’s book Prototype.