Nice or Kind?

“Would you describe yourself as more kind or more nice?”

I had to think about that question for awhile after hearing it on the radio. Aren’t they they kinda the same thing?

Well. . . they’re not and I’m so glad I now know the difference.

God never tells us, in the Bible, to be nice. But, he does tell us, over and over, to be kind and show kindness.

Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I think most of us want to be nice. People like nice people. Nice people are described as being agreeable. People who smile. People who are pleasing to look at and pleasant to talk to.

Being kind, on the other hand, is an action word. Kind people hold the door for you. Kind people make you chicken soup when you are sick. Kind people give you a kidney when you need one (it happened to me).

If I’m in a pickle, I’ll take kind over nice. But, what I really want is a kind person who is nice too. But not too nice. Sometimes nice is wishy-washy and doesn’t want to rock the boat with truth and grace.

What elevates nice up into kindness? How can you become kind if you’ve only been hanging out in the nice waiting room?

Love people. Love them enough to sacrifice for them. Love them enough to forgive them. Love them enough to be patient and gentle with them. Love them like Jesus loves them. Kindness always holds hands with love.

Ugh, that’s hard stuff. I know! I know! Are you rethinking the change from nice to kind?

I know I can’t show the kindness I should without the help of Jesus. He has been so kind to me and is the perfect example of loving kindness that shows forgiveness.

He was kind to those who hated Him. He showed forgiveness to those who were crucifying Him while He hung on the cross. He was patiently kind when His own disciples were forgetful, doubtful, neglectful. He is kind to me – a struggling disciple who fails daily.

Nice is a shiny coat of paint. Kindness is an engine overhaul. An investment.

I want to make the investment. Do you?

Lord, help us. Help us to invest in others by being kind and loving them as you have shown us how to. Forgive us for being content with nice. Take us deeper, Lord. Grow us. Amen.

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