Be Nice. Or Leave.


Or Leave.

“There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.” 

“be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.”

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know, if you love.”

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”

(photo courtesy of @ds_heck)

Someone recently commented, (I’m paraphrasing here), ‘No one ever commanded us to be nice. Kind, yes – but, nice, well, uhhh’. Now, I seriously respect and love this person greatly. I will remain their friend and love them deeply. That’s the point. This friend has never shown anything but love, kindness, and respect to me. Although we had a great conversation about this, and I understood what they were getting at, I still have to disagree with the sentiment, it’s been abused far too often, not by this particular friend, but my so many others. That’s also the point, we, as friends, can still be agreeable in our disagreement by agreeing to disagree. Here’s the reason why:

After 48, almost 49 years of my lifetime listening, observing, learning, studying, working, failing, and generally being abused on the receiving end of ‘kind is not the same as nice’, I do NOT believe there is a distinction between being kind vs. being nice. I came to this conclusion by sharing the photo I had taken above and the reaction to it.

To my way of thinking:

if we really do love, without being afraid, with no fear, no judgement, no punishment, in an honest way, and really are ready to do whatever is good, not slandering or insulting anyone, nor arguing, and instead:

Encourage & believe the best of each other,

Never give up on each other,

Care for each other more than ourselves,

Are content (no matter what state we find ourselves in),
Don’t want what we don’t have,

And If We:

  • Don’t gloat with a swelled head,
  • Aren’t proud, self-righteous, arrogant, overfed,
  • Are concerned with the poor, hungry, & needy,
  • Aren’t ‘ME first’,
  • Don’t fly off the handle,
  • Don’t keep track of everyone else’s failings,
  • Don’t celebrate *anyone’s* misfortune,
  • Do take pleasure in truth revealing itself,  
  • ALWAYS look for the best,
  • Keep going,
  • Are peaceable & considerate,
  • Are always gentle toward everyone, respectful of each other and of the government,
  • Are law-abiding,
  • Are always ready to lend a hand,
  • Are loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, humble, self-controlled, 
  • Are Always trusting the divine, then,

I truly believe,

being ‘nice’ will not be a problem.

The photo I took, is a reminder, when I fail to be nice OR kind, that it’s not a distinction, that I honestly believe: being nice = being kind.

Never mistake kindness for weakness.

Why? Being Kind ensures Nice will take care of itself. Both require strength, infinitely more strength than not being nice or kind. – Really.

For those that may not know what is actually in there – extensive bibliographic notes/references follow for the factually challenged:

Matthew 5:1-7:29 (Sermon on the Mount) MSG, CJB, GNT

John 13:34 ESV

1 Corinthians 13 NIV & MSG

1 John 4:18 CJB

Galatians 5:22-24 MSG, NIV, CJB

Titus 3 NIV MSG

Matthew 18:21-35 CJB, MSG

Matthew 11 KJV, MSG, CJB


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Just a guy directly challenged to write and share my experiences. This is not easy.

5 thoughts on “Be Nice. Or Leave.”

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