Stop Being Nice: Be Kind
If you grew up with siblings, you were probably told to “play nice” with them. What did that “nice” look like? Usually, it was a shallow attempt to trick adults into thinking we could be civil while secretly harboring mischief or ill-will towards another. Once the adult was not looking, the “nice” quickly disappeared!
Even as adults, we can navigate life on the egg shells of “being nice” to others, especially those individuals who frustrate or annoy us. Family members, coworkers, and even the people who sit in our pews can join us in a game of “playing nice.” Behind superficial smiles, we harbor resentment and frustration towards others. As Christians, we are called to be more than just nice. We are called to be kind.
Our pent-up frustration or passive-aggressive behavior may keep things civil between us and others, but it is not Christ-like. In Ephesians 4, Paul discourages the Christian community from holding grudges and speaking ill of others. Our words and actions should seek to build others up. Paul writes, “Put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God has forgiven you.” It’s easy to be nice; it’s hard to be kind. So, if we seek to walk in the footsteps of Christ, we must commit ourselves to kindness. Being kind means taking the initiative to treat others and love others like Jesus. While the world may want us to be nice, God calls us to something greater: kindness. How will you demonstrate kindness this week?