Seriously, Be Nice
I know… I know… we have all heard this since we were toddlers and our moms were trying to get us to share our toys. This is too simple for my liking. I read books about theology and quantum physics. I love complicated ideas and feeling smart but I cannot help but write this.
One of the most profound and deep things a Christian can do is just be nice. I know what you are thinking… couldn’t this dude come up with anything else to write about?
In all seriousness, shouldn’t Christians be nice? I don’t mean “cheesy nice” where we wear fake smiles and say cliché’s like “Praise the Lord.” and “God bless you”. I mean really nice. When the server at the restaurant comes up we look them in the eye and thank them for serving us. We genuinely show interest in others when they visit our churches or start the first day at our place of employment. I mean the no agenda, no fakeness kind of nice.
This does not mean that you never get mad or that you let people walk all over you. That is not being nice; it is being weak. Jesus got angry and was pretty straight forward about what He thought. I simply mean that we should make a true effort to make others comfortable around us or to ease the stress of their day or to let them know that we “get” them.
A fair question to ask right now is "What if I am not a nice person by nature?" Welcome to the club. We all have selfishness built into us.
Here is a solution that works for me:
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Do you see it? I don’t have to come up with niceness on my own. When I come to Jesus and submit to the Holy Spirit, He empowers me to show the same kindness to others that He has shown to me. He produces it (like fruit) in me. I can be genuinely nice to others even when they do not deserve it because God has been genuinely nice to me even though I do not deserve it.
When we trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation and the Holy Spirit fills us, we can now supernaturally be kind to others in a way that they can sense is real - in a way that they know has no agenda – in a way that is very much like Jesus.