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By Bryan Fischer
Many Christians believe that the highest calling God has placed on us is to be nice. These Christians are wrong.
God has not called us to be nice. Rather, he has called us to be good. Here’s the difference: nice people never confront evil. Good people do. Nice people are weak. Good people are strong.
Jesus wasn’t nice. He was kind, he was compassionate, he was caring, but he was unbending and unflinching when it came to standing for the truth. And it cost him his life.
Jo Swinney, in a column posted on Christian Today, says this: “Somewhere along the way, Christianity has got itself entangled with a soapy, soft, non-offensive concept: 'niceness.'” We are nice to everyone we meet “in the hope that our niceness will get them to church where more nice people will be there to welcome them.”
Now don’t misunderstand me. This is not a call to be rude or offensive or obnoxious or unkind. Jesus himself said persecution only carries a reward when people “utter all kinds of evil against you falsely” (Matthew 5:11). In other words, it doesn’t count if it’s true.
But let’s not forget the way in which the author and perfecter of our faith died. Nice people don’t get crucified. Nice people buckle, nice people give way, nice people always accommodate, nice people never offend. Nice people allow themselves to get pushed around and taken advantage of and treated like saps. As Ms. Swinney points out, niceness is not one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Paul wasn’t “nice” to the politicians in Philippi when he was unjustly arrested and imprisoned. His rights as a Roman citizen had been grossly violated, and when the city leaders realized what they had done, they were in a full-fledged panic. They pleaded with Paul to leave quietly and not make a fuss.
A nice person would have said, “No problem, fellas. You made an honest mistake…
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