I’m a Canadian: Canadians are known to be nice!
I am a Christian: Christians are often taught to be nice!
I have a Mennonite pacifist cultural background: This often translates to being nice.
With that triple-decker niceness I’m sure to be on the nice list, right?
Oh, to top it off, I’m a girl (well, technically a woman) and females are reputedly made of sugar and spice and all things nice!
Yikes! A quadruple-decker becomes a wee bit hard to balance!
All of this syrupy, saccharine niceness is too much for me. Besides, (shhhhhhhh, don't tell the children) I don’t believe in Santa. I don’t want to be on any nice list. For the past few years, I've been learning to get off of that list. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be on the naughty side either. I’ve out grown that stage of my life. But the opposite of nice is not naughty. It’s kind, it’s good, it’s honest, it’s real.
I'm not crazy about the writing style of the authors, but I recently picked up a book called, No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends. Just so you don't feel left out, they've also written one for guys called, of course, No More Christian Nice Guy: When Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts Men, Women and Children In an interview with CBN co-author Dr Degler is quoted as saying:
Women often times just need to look at, “OK, do my insides match up with my outsides or am I really just pretending a lot of the time? Am I lying?” Really, that’s what it is. When you aren’t speaking the truth in love, you’re lying. And that means they’ve got this Christian nice girl problem and many times what they’re going to find is that they’re not getting the abundant life that Jesus promised; their relationships are not satisfying.
That's the goal. To speak the truth in love. To have the insides match the outsides. Since 'nice' people are essentially liars! OUCH!
Your niceness 'training' may not be quadruple decker like mine. But if you want to begin to let go of your niceness you'll have lots of help because I'm not the only one who has been thinking about this. Besides the ones mentioned,there are other books such as Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill or one's written by psychotherapist Dr Evelyn Sommers
True Godliness is not PC. True Godliness is not always "nice". There are many things that Christians should not be nice about. Jesus, our perfect example and teacher, was not always nice. But He is kind. And it is His kindness that brings us to repentance.
How do you get to be more like Him? Dr. Degler sums it up well in her previously mentioned interview when she says:
You begin to speak the truth in love. Over time, if you will do that, it’s amazing how your relationships will transform. They will be more intimate. You will have the abundant life that Jesus promised. But you’ll never have that if you don’t really follow the real Jesus. He spoke the truth in love even when it cost Him.
Speaking the truth...in love. That's kindness.
Perhaps you are already on this journey with me, but if you are not, I hope that you will join me in getting rid of the many 'decks' of niceness.
No more lying then.
Everyone must tell the truth to his fellow believers
because we are all members together in the body of Christ.
I wish you an un-nice real honest to goodness Christmas Season.