Just Be Nice!

       While we were packing the other day our son, Kenny, came across a bumper sticker that read, “Just be nice.”    Three simple words yet profound in their understanding and powerful in their application.

          A nice person is agreeable. Amiable. Pleasant. Delightful.  We know when a person is nice.  And we know when they aren’t very nice.   Being nice was something my mom used to say.  “Can’t you boys just be nice?!”

          While the word “nice” is not used in the Bible.  It is a Biblical concept. In Ephesians 4:32 Paul exhorted, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  In other words “be nice!”  It is nice to be kind.  It’s nice to be compassionate.  It’s nice to be forgiving toward our friends, our family and our brothers in Christ.

          If you want to know what nice looks like, just look at Jesus.    Study His teaching. Look at the way He treated others. See how He lived.  Listen to what He said. Peter fittingly summed up Jesus’ life by saying. “He went about doing good.” In other words, he was simply nice to folks.

          In his famous treatise on love, Paul wrote in I Cor. 13:4  “love is kind.” To be kind is to be nice.  Indeed love has many wonderful qualities—patience, persistence and not being puffed up.  But simply being nice is also a great demonstration of love. 

          Mark Twain once said, ““Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”  Indeed just being nice to people breaks down barriers that often divide people.   Physical. Mental. Even emotional. Being nice  knows no bounds of race, gender or social class.  Being nice  will traverse the so-called “generation gap.”  Niceness  will conqueror prejudice, pride and partiality. 

          Being nice can be heard in kind words, seen in thoughtful deeds, and felt in a warm embrace.  Being nice is not something you do, but it is the way you are.  Being nice is an attitude.  Being nice is a way of life that begins at home, is practiced at work, and  is applied at school.  Being nice can even be exercised while driving through rush hour traffic!  And being nice is a great quality to exhibit when responding to someone on facebook!

          When I’m nice, I respond to my wife, Norm Jean, with  pleasant words.  Sometimes we can get irritated and agitated with each other and our words become prickly.  When that happens, I need to adjust my attitude, change my tone and just be nice!

          When people test my patience, I need to be nice.  When they let me down, I need to be nice.  When they display annoying habits, I need to be nice. 

          I’m reminded of the 5-year-old little girl saying her bed time prayers one night and she was overheard praying, “Lord, help the bad people to be good.  And help the good people to be nice!”

          Any good people out there want to take on that challenge this week?  Just be nice! 

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

6 Comments

Filed under Kindness

6 responses to “Just Be Nice!

  1. Aleta

    I’m in for the challenge! Excellent thoughts, Ken.

  2. Faloria Jones

    Love.A lesson to be learned by all.

  3. Thanks, Ken, for a very needful “challenge!” Sometimes it is all too easy to let life’s daily grit abrade our spirits and make us cranky, petulant, and impolite — whether with strangers, Christians, or even our families. Might I politely suggest (without becoming “un-nice?) that an even bigger challenge for many Christians is often to imitate other characteristics of Jesus (since focusing on any one aspect produces a uni-dimensional shallowness). I fear it is far easier in many cases for us to recover our “niceness” than to occasionally confront, in the kind of direct language Jesus used, the challengers to God’s sovreignty and purposes. The generic cultural aversion to militancy has too often infected Christians, and sometimes “being nice” can simply mask a non-committal spiritual laxness. Balance is a watchword easier to say than do! Thanks for the challenge!

  4. I’ll go for the challenge!! Thanks!

  5. Mike

    Hi Ken. I like you.

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