Huum. I know we are supposed be, but I keep running into folks who are devout Christians but they just aren’t very nice and that really throws me for a loop.
Nice sounds like such a wimpy,soft word, vacuous and lame but it’s a very important quality.
We all know what “nice” means but I looked it up just to be sure. Nice means “giving pleasure or joy.Kind, polite and friendly.”
We as Christians are supposed to be nice to everyone, not just people who are just like us. I keep running into Christians who are not kind, friendly or polite to the boy at Sonic who is Goth and wears mascara. They are not nice to the very effeminate, over weight boy who works at the Smoothie place. They are not friendly or kind to the woman in line at Walmart wearing the head scarf or the Hispanic man cutting their neighbors grass.
Parents and preachers, I think, need to teach the talented jocks, the beautiful mean girls and the cool kids that they are not acting like a Christian when they bully, taunt, tease and harass.
But some of the people, kids and adults, who are not kind, are still very quick to tell everyone they are Christians.
Here’s the thing. I believe God loves all those people previously mentioned, the Goth kid, the fat kid, the immigrant, the guy who just got out of prison, just as much as he loves you are me. And I think it breaks God’s heart when we are not “nice” to all of his children. Thankfully, God is not as picky about who he loves or we would all be in trouble.
Last week at WalMart the cashier was a 40 year old black man with a speech impediment. He was slow and the lane was backing up because of his disability. The woman in front of me, wearing a big silver cross, had to repeat something several times because he didn’t understand. Then she looked at me, obviously annoyed, and rolled her eyes. I wanted to punch her in the face.
Maybe she was a Christian but she was not a nice person.
But I think I have an idea. Preachers, pastors and parents need to teach their children to be Christians and be nice. We need to stop assuming kids instantly understand being Christian means you are supposed to be nice, kind, friendly and polite….to everyone. We need to teach our children, from a very young age, that it is their duty, as a Christian, to be kind to teachers and hobos and waitresses, to those who serve the public and those of other races and beliefs, to be kind to everyone, not just to people who are like us or we agree with. And we should do that because Jesus asked us to.
I know I fall short every day. I get mad at myself sometimes when I act ugly. There’s a guy who works in a store I frequent. He drives me CRAZY, I mean really really bugs me. I just want him to stop talking and stay out of my space. But that’s my problem, not his fault and I have to remind myself that God loves him just as much as he loves me.
And when you see the goth kid, with the giant gauges in his ears, holes big enough to put a shot glass in, the big gold ring in his eyebrow and tattoos all over his body…..God loves that boy too, just as much as he love you.
When you see the kid with the tank top and jeans sagging down so low you can see his red checked boxers, running across the street, against the light. You might not agree with his fashion decisions but God loves that guy a whole lot too, just as much as he loves you.
Christians are supposed to be “Christ Like” and Jesus was nice.
But I will try every day to teach my kids to be nice to their family, to those they love and those they don’t understand. Because we are all God’s children. So teach it and be it….Be Nice.