The two words I try to live by are be nice. Those are words I heard a lot growing up and still remember my mother’s voice saying them in a rather sharp tone, followed by my full given name. These were said when my mother thought I was doing something wrong. It took me a long time to get past the thought that I was not a nice person.
Being nice is not easy, especially in today’s culture. I am often told I am “too nice.” I shouldn’t try to help people. People will take advantage. Yes, some might, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying to help where we can.
For me those two words sum up the teachings of the New Testament. Let me get out my Bible here and show a few examples.
These first two passages talk about the Fruit of the Spirit or what the lives of those who follow God should look like.
First from the book of Galatians:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. — Galatians 5:22-23, King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
And now from Ephesians:
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10, King James Version (KJV)
Next we have one of my favorite verses from Philippians which reminds us to guard our thoughts, because with them we create our reality.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things
are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things
are pure, whatsoever things
are lovely, whatsoever things
are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things
. Philippians 4:8 [Full Chapter]
In the book of Matthew Chapters 5-7 we find what is referred to as the Sermon on the Mount which was given by the Master Teacher Jesus, beginning with the “beatitudes. The list of people Jesus calls “blessed” is interesting. It’s not the warriors, judges, politicians or millionaires Jesus calls blessed, but the “poor in spirit”, “they that mourn”, “the meek”, “they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness”,”the merciful’, “the pure in heart”,” the peacemakers and “the persecuted”. In other words the “nice” people. Those who follow the Spirit of God that lives in each one of us. I encourage you to go ahead sometime today and read the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of Matthew because Jesus had much more to say on this topic.
So where am I going with this? I am trying to lead us to put down our weapons, stop shouting, stop judging and feeling like we have to vindicate and take retribution for God and for Christianity. It’s time to finally dig in and connect with Spirit, follow the life and teachings of the Master Teacher, and just be nice.