Love is Not Rude

Love is Not Like a Blob of Play-Doh

July 20, 2023

Are you willing to allow God to shape you into ANYTHING so that evangelism is revived in your ministry?

A group of professional people posed the question, “What does love mean?”, to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds. Here’s a small collection of some of the top responses:

  • “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore… So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”~ Rebecca- age 8
  • “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”~ Billy – age 4
  • “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” ~ Karl – age 5
  • “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” ~ Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)
  • “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt then he wears it every day.” ~ Noelle – age 7
  • “When you love somebody your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” (What an image!) ~ Karen – age 7
  • “If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” ~ Nikka – age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)

What 1 Corinthians 13 Has to Say

Based on my study of 1 Corinthians 13, I’d add love means we are not rude.

If we want to love better, we can’t be rude.

In the original language, the word used here for “rude,” aschēmonei, has a very interesting definition: “to act unbecomingly.” If you look even deeper, this word means: “to be considered unseemly because one lacks proper shape.”

See it? Love is not like a blob of Play-Doh! 

Some of you are dating a blob of Play-Doh.…hoping you can shape him into a work of art.

Some of you have been treated like a blob of Play-Doh…by someone who didn’t treat you the way you should have been treated.

Some of you are leading churches full of blobs of Play-Doh because…some of you are…willingly…a blob of Play-Doh that refuses to be shaped by God!

If we really love each other and our communities better, we won’t be a bunch of blobs!

It’s about honor and dishonor.
It’s about not acting unbecomingly.
It would be just rude for us to not allow God to shape us into whatever He wants to shape us into.

But, what does God want to shape us into?

But, what does God want to shape us into? Good question!

Looking elsewhere in this letter, I see that God wants to shape us into…

A Temple

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

How does this keep us from being rude?
Paul tells us we are temples of the Holy Spirit!
You’re a temple of the Holy Spirit!

You have purpose.

What happened in the temple should happen in and through us…

  • Worship
  • Service
  • Sacrifice

You are powerful.

The power associated with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is called, “dunamis” or “dynamite.”

You have value.

Temples are expensive! Solomon’s Temple, in Jerusalem, would be worth $4 Billion dollars of today’s money. 

Now, don’t go and get all “puffed up”!

Looking elsewhere in this letter, I see that God wants to shape us into…


For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. (1 Corinthians 9:19)

How does this keep us from being rude?

By remembering: It’s not all about us!

Unrude, shapeable Christians, look for opportunities to serve others.

Paul is obsessed with seeing people get saved!

I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  (1 Corinthians 9:22)

That’s a man who is willing to be shaped by God!!!! 

Like the most amazing blob of Play-Doh ever, Paul is willing to allow God to shape him into ANYTHING, if it means people are going to be saved!

What are you NOT willing to allow God to shape you into?


If it meant that people would find salvation would you allow God to shape you into…

  • A minister?
  • A church planter?
  • A missionary?
  • A small group leader?
  • A volunteer at your church?
  • A person who is passionate about loving better?

Looking elsewhere in this letter, I see that God wants to shape us into…

Whatever Part of The Body God Created Us To Be

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

How does this keep us from being rude?

By remembering: We’re all a part of the same body…of Christ…and God wants to use the body of Christ to reach as many people as possible!

If we want to love better, we must do what we were created to do.

If we are an eye we must see. If we are an ear we must hear. If we’re a hand we must reach out and if we’re a foot we must walk!

Each of us is an essential part in our collective efforts—as the Body of Christ—to love better.

In my opinion, our world has gotten really rude over the past couple of years.

It broke my heart to see how people…how Christians…were treating each other & talking about each other on social media.

It’s one of the reasons I am so excited to be a part of the Exponential community! Exponential is committed to helping church leaders, pastors, and church planters to be shaped into passionate and committed multipliers who do not believe that evangelism is a lost cause.

We can do this!

If we allow God to shape us—and take responsibility for shaping ourselves, as well—we WILL love each other and our communities better.

This excerpt is from Arron Chamber’s book Love Better: Recapturing the Power of One of the Most Misapplied Scriptures in the Bible available from Exponential as a free download or on Amazon in print or Kindle versions. This article and book is one of several resources created for Exponential’s Lost Cause: Reviving Evangelism theme. You can access more resources from the Lost Cause library and join us for Lost Cause events.

Arron Chambers

Arron Chambers

Arron Chambers is the Pastor of Journey Christian Church—a multi-site church with a new campus at a local Correctional Facility and a large online community. He is also the author of eight books, a life/business/marriage coach, cross-country coach, and a global speaker.
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