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Being Nice

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I asked someone earlier this week if they believed in God and heaven. They said yes, but they weren't
too sure about Jesus. I asked them how they were going to get to heaven... they said they were a "nice"
person. Therefore God had to let them in.

We can debate about how unbiblical this is. Especially the part about getting to heaven without jesus.
But what I'm getting at here, is even Christians seem to be confused about the word "nice".

The word "nice" isn't in the King James Bible even once.
It's only in the NASB version once.. Jeremiah 12:6 ... says "do not believe them when they say nice things
about you". It's a warning about flattery.

It's used four times in the NLT version.
In Ruth 3:3; she is told to put on her nicest clothes.
Eccl 6:9; just dreaming about nice things is meaningless.
Isa 30:10; "Don't tell us what is right. Tell us nice things, tell us lies".
Jeremiah 22:23; It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace.... but...
Three out four times above it's used in a negative way.

The Bible says God is good. - Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; etc...
But it doesn't say anywhere that He is nice.
In fact there are several verses about God and His goodness.
But not a single one about Him being nice.

Aren't they the same thing? It seems many people think so.
I knew a man once. He passed away a few years back. Everyone always said "He was a really nice guy".
..and I suppose he was.
But he was an alcoholic, and he had several affairs on his wife, and would cheat you out any money he was
able to if you would let him. So I can't say he was a good man. But I suppose he was a nice man.

I think many parents want to be "nice" to their children. But that doesn't necessarily
mean they do what's good for their children.

I notice that being nice isn't one of the 10 commandments.
Nor, oddly enough, is it listed as a fruit of the Spirit.

I wonder if God was being "nice" when he flooded the earth.
Was He being nice when He rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah?
Was Jesus being nice when He called the Pharisee's a brood of vipers and sons of hell?
Was He being nice when he chased the money-lenders from the temple?

Sometimes, being "nice" is not the right thing to do.
But despite doing these things, Jesus/God are always good.

I'm not saying we should never be nice. I think we should be.
But being nice doesn't take the place of being good. And being nice... won't get you into heaven.
(neither will being good). But the point is... there is a different.
Goodness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit.
 
Active
Well said,

Someone once told me that nice has to do with being agreeable.
For example, a nice person will often go long with what the group wants
in order to make peace or be agreeable or to be liked.

"Nice", is the word that people often use in response to an action of
an individual that they liked, or it made them feel good.

I'll repeat, being "nice" is what people will often use to describe
your actions, if your actions made them feel good.

But love is not always about making people feel good.
For example, imagine a son who always has money for
help his mother. This action of giving money to his mother
will be received as, "I have a nice son." Even though he
might be a drug dealer or may have stolen that money,
but for the mother he is nice because as defined above,
his actions towards her made her feel good or validated her.

Obviously as Christians we would say that stealing is wrong and
dealing drugs to get money is wrong. Just because you take the
surplus to your mother, it doesn't resolve the sin issue.

People like "nice" people because nice people make them feel good.
Nice people are never confrontational. They never hold them accountable,
and nice people never stretch them or challenge them to grow.

A nice person will leave them right where they are without stimulating growth.

I actually think nice people are often weak people. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking
about confusing mercy, or love or Grace for weakness, but I believe nice people
are often weak people.

Well, why do I say this?

First, I speak from experience. I use to be "nice." I was the one that everyone thought
was so nice. But often times nice people sometimes just want to be liked themselves,
so their actions are really guided by the desire to be liked, not the desire to
do what is in the best interest of the over person(love). So for example, the drug
dealer son may feel like a failure, but in his attempt to gain his mother's approval, he
gives her some of his drug money. The son doesn't care that he is putting his mother
at risk, and that the police coould do a drug raid on her house. His main motivation is to
gain the mother's approval, so his actions are led by that motivation.

Sometimes nice people put up with a whole lot of cr*p because they lack the backbone.
Still speaking from personal experience. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a rude person. After
I grew a backbone, I now see myself as humble and able to put up with a lot through the
fruit of patience, but I am doing so now, because I choose to, not because I feel I have to.
And if God ever tells me to not put up with it, I would have the courage to act accordingly as
His Spirit would lead me.

So back to nice people having no backbone. This is not God. God torched Sodom and Gomorrah
because God has a backbone and to execute judgement you need a backbone.
God cannot be nice, if niceness is about doing certain things purely to be liked
by others. God doesn't need our approval. His actions are based on love not a desire to
be liked.

Good topic.
 
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