Be Nice

Most nights I open my Kindle and read a chapter or two from the bible just before falling asleep. The other night I came across this admonition…

“to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” -Titus 3:2

Why is it so hard just to be nice to people? Honestly, most of our relationship problems at work and at home come from the simple fact that we’re not being nice! It would be so much better if we could just keep our mouths shut, and better still if we never thought badly of others in the first place.

Look at the list-

  1. Speak evil of no one.
  2. Avoid quarreling
  3. Be gentle
  4. Show perfect courtesy toward all people.

Do you know how many problems at work would be solved if everyone took this advice? How many personal and work relationships have been ruined because we fail to do these four simple things?

It really dawned on me how different my life would be, and how much more likeable I would be to others, if I took these four simple things and tried to be like that more often.

It’s interesting that this piece of advice is being given out to Christians. Aren’t Christians supposed to be nice in the first place? Isn’t that part of what it means to be a Christian? We’re forgiven and loved by God so we’re supposed act that way with others, right? But here’s the Apostle acting like my mother reminding me to be nice! And what the Apostle is telling us is not just to be nice to other Christians, but to be nice to those who disagree with us or who do things we might find objectionable.

“For at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to all sorts of desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”-Titus 3:3

We’re being told as Christians not to be “holier than thou” and to remember our past, because if we’re being honest, we did a lot of the things that we now hate in others. And if we’re really being honest, we often still struggle with the very things we accuse others of!

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t become a Christian because some believer out there was mean to me, or called me names, or berated me. I became a Christian because of a few people who were nice to me. That doesn’t mean that they were non-confrontational wall flowers. I was called on the carpet over a few things, but I never once felt judged or that I was being treated badly by those who called themselves Christians.

Some of us think the end justifies the means. In our self righteousness we recklessly plough through the lives of others to achieve what we feel is a noble or right conclusion. The bible tells us to instead be respectful, courteous, kind and gentle. The bible does not give us permission to be jerks to people who disagree with our opinions or beliefs!