Has loving a prodigal made me rude?

Has loving a prodigal made me rude?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

Has loving a prodigal made me rude?
Micah 6:8  “…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy…”1 Cor 13:4 “Charity…doth not behave itself unseemly
Wouldn’t you agree that common courtesy seems to have become increasingly less common? I remember a time when younger people and men of any age would hold a door open and wait for an elderly person to get to the door and walk through it. Was it really so long ago that kids spoke respectfully to all adults and especially to their parents? And I won’t even get started on what happens when we get behind the wheel of the car. Good manners are apparently a thing of the past.
That is especially true in our families. It’s sad but true that we often treat strangers better and more politely than we do the people we love or at least the ones we say we love. If you have a prodigal in your life, you have probably been on the receiving end of some of that rudeness and lack of respect. No surprise there. But what about those of us who love a prodigal? Do we season our words with kindness, or are the words we say sometimes as bad as or worse than anything the prodigal says to us?
I’m not saying I don’t understand, nor am I telling you I always speak gently to my prodigal. It’s a daily battle for me to speak politely to my prodigal because, like all of us, I get really tired of hearing excuses and living with broken promises. Disappointment doesn’t make people feel agreeable or friendly, and it’s easy to lose respect for someone whose life is a wreck and who has brought their chaos into our lives. And you can bet I sometimes let that loss of respect be reflected in the things I say and the manner in which I say them.
Notice I said I “let.” Letting that loss of respect season the words I say is a choice. And a lot of the tension between the people in my life who are acting out and me could be avoided if I just used common courtesy. I know personally what we live with on a daily basis, and I know intimately how tired we get. But if I talk to the family dog with more respect than I do a person I say I love and for whom Christ died, who has the problem?
While it’s true that our relationships would improve with some simple courtesy, that improvement alone isn’t why we should do it. The bottom line is it’s one of the things God requires of us, and that should be reason enough.
Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, season your words with kindness and speak with common courtesy?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

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