One of my favorite movies (actually mini-series) was Lonesome Dove. In one scene from Lonesome Dove, Newt (played by Ricky Shroder) was being physically whipped by a man in town as he and Captain Woodrow Call (played by Tommy Lee Jones) were purchasing supplies. As Captain Call came out of the dry goods store, he observed what was taking place and sprang into action. He summarily pick up something resembling a tire iron from the blacksmith and let’s just say he ended the whipping. His parting words were, “I hate rude behavior in a man and I won’t tolerate it!”. Well, I don’t have a lot of tolerance for rudeness in man or woman, but I won’t be taking up a tire iron – only expressing my thoughts on the matter.
You might be wondering what has my mind on the subject of rudeness. It is something that happened as Kim and I had lunch at a restaurant as we were out one day this week. As we sat enjoying our lunch, in walked a party of 10 ladies from a church group. They had the same server as we did and by the way the young lady was an excellent server. As they began to be seated, they started barking at the hostess that was showing them to their table about how the table’s seating arrangements would be, among other things. Then as the young lady began to take their orders for what they would drink there was not a friendly face to be seen. The young lady brought out their drinks and the rudeness began. The apocalypse was upon us all!! One lady asked for lemon with her water and did not receive the lemon. Of course, she very abruptly let the server know about the missing lemon that may have threatened her very eternity (sarcasm). Next as they raided the buffet it only got worse. Here is where the real travesty would occur – more dark meat fried chicken than white meat and more drumsticks than breasts!! One lady went so far as to make her way to the doorway of the kitchen and in a very demanding tone said, “WE NEED MORE WHITE MEAT ON THE BUFFET!!”. As I sat there after witnessing this at the buffet, she almost gleefully announced to table, “I got them on the chicken!” They continued to snipe at the server. I know this is a rather lengthy explanation of my inspiration for writing this blog today, but I want to leave you with some thoughts to consider if you struggle with rudeness especially those of you that claim the name of Christ and desire to be a light for the gospel in this dark world.
#1. Your rude behavior is not impressive to the general population around you. It does not make you important.
#2. Remember who you represent! Christ was characterized by humbleness, meekness and kindness. You are a not a good representation when you present rudeness to others. When you announce to the hostess that you are with a church group (as these ladies did) be sure you represent Christ in way that pleases him – including leaving an above average tip (another subject for another blog).
#3. Your age does not give you the right to be rude. These ladies were part of a senior adult group. You do not earn the right to be rude. Actually as we grow older, if I understand God’s Word correctly, we should mature not become like immature children.
#4. Not leave out the kiddo’s….It is not cute when you allow your kid to walk around to other people’s tables in a restaurant setting so long as they do not disturb your meal or act out in other rude behavior to the general public around you, if this describes your typical dining experience. Education about rude behavior begins at home. As a parent, do not accept rudeness from a child as “cute”. “Yes sir”, “no sir”, “no ma’am”, “yes…ma’am”, “please” and thank you” are learned behaviors that parents would do well to instill in their children from a young age. Proper behavior is learned and so is rudeness.
#5. We are called to love our neighbors, be kind to each other and yes abide by the old Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. Rudeness does not fit into this equation for living peacefully with our fellow man (also a command of scripture).
Whether you are being rude to a server in a restaurant that is working hard for your benefit, the person taking your order at McDonalds or for that matter to anyone else you may come in contact with I have to believe that God’s opinion of rudeness in His children might reflect that of Captain Call from the comments at the beginning of this blog. As I drove away from the restaurant, I could not help but ponder the question, “If that young lady serving that group of ladies from a local church group was searching for a church or maybe had an interest in learning of the Savior, how did these ladies impact her journey?”. As you spend your weekend out and about this weekend maybe at a restaurant, hanging out with friends or as I will be all day Saturday watching Olivia play the game she loves (softball) please for the sake of the Kingdom of God and your own testimony, commit yourself to KINDNESS! You may be the only Jesus the unknown person will see in that moment that you must choose kindness or rudeness.