Rudeness as a Sign of Evil

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

Do you see that little phrase here – “or rude”?  The very next quality of love that is named after it is “it does not insist on its own way.” I suspect the latter is an elaboration on rudeness.

Abusers and other evil characters are rude. This word means far more than mere failure to observe proper etiquette (although I suspect that many of you could share how being a slob or being gross was a quality of your abuser). Rudeness is not simply limited though to a failure to be polite. It is in fact, an insisting upon having its own way. It is a pressing and pressuring of someone else. It is a violating of proper boundaries. An inappropriate insistence that someone do something or yield to some demand. It is a rank lack of consideration for others.

Let me give you some examples. I tell you, evil people just keep giving me the examples!!  I suppose that’s one good thing about them. They provide lots of material for us to write about.

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What did Jack the Ripper look like?

I recently read a short story by Shirley Jackson from collection of her short stories entitled Dark Tales.  There is a movie out now, recently released, on Jackson’s life – but I don’t recommend it. It may not be that factual anyway.  On the other hand, a movie version of her novel “We Have Always Lived in this Castle” is definitely worth watching – but not for kids.

Anyway, one very short story she wrote is called Jack the Ripper. It describes a man who appears to be a champion of mercy and empathy. He comes upon a young woman lying on the sidewalk in the rain and dark, drunk and passed out. He goes into the pub nearby and attempts to garner some support to help her but ends up only being mocked. Eventually he carries her home (finding her address in her purse) and goes to great lengths to carry her up 6 flights of stairs to her appartment. He settles her in, puts her to bed, and then you expect him to leave.

He doesn’t.  This in fact is how the story ends:

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The People Walking in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light

Luke 1:76-79 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, (77) to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, (78) because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high (79) to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Light and darkness are two huge and vital themes in the Word of God. Right from the get go –

Gen 1:2-3 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (3) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Darkness is death. Where there is no light, there is no life. No photosynthesis, no warmth, no energy. When God spoke light into the darkness, He spoke life into being. Light and life. Darkness and death. It is not surprising then that these were the very first creative words of God – let there be light! And He did this before He created the sun and stars! God, who is light Himself, is the origin of light. He is God. He alone is to be worshipped — not some sun or moon god. It is the Lord who keeps the sun’s raging hydrogen bomb-like burning going. His might is beyond our ability to comprehend. Our sun is a lesser star of billions and billions more – all shining and burning because of the energy given them by this God who has revealed Himself to us. Here we hang in space on nothing, tipped at just the right angle, set at just the right distance from the fire, so that we aren’t consumed like a roasted marshmallow nor are we frozen in a wasteland of absolute zero.

And so it is spiritually. With our souls –

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