The Need To Be Nice
Well, you would think that we should be nice to everyone.
While we try to be nice, sometimes more is needed.
That all depends upon what you mean by being nice.
Satan has convinced Christians to focus so much attention on niceness that we have totally lost sight of righteousness.
A quick look at the New Testament reveals Jesus and His disciples were a lot more concerned about righteousness, rather than making and keeping friends.
Many today, would rather have the friends.
But we are warned to seek the right kind of friends.
Jesus was not concerned about being nice and making friends with the greedy moneychangers.
Jesus was not concerned about being nice and making friends with the religious hypocrites.
Jesus was concerned about doing the will of His Father.
And Jesus is our perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-25).
We have been silenced into thinking we should never make someone mad or else we may not be able to convert them.
Obviously, as Christians we should never be mean-spirited or antagonistic.
But if Jesus and His disciples couldn’t convert everyone they interacted with, what makes you think you can?!
There will always be people out there who have stiffened their necks against God.
Don’t allow those individuals to silence you!
Friends hear this loud and clear—Jesus had no problem making some people mad.
In fact, He made people so mad they ended up killing Him.
Stop and really think about that: Jesus angered people so much they want to kill Him.
Many of the apostles did the same and experienced horrendous deaths.
But also notice neither Jesus nor His disciples were willing to compromise or sugar-coat the Truth.
He knew there was a battle going on, and Jesus was not afraid to engage the enemy.
He was not afraid to call people out.
Take a minute and look at some of the phrases Jesus used in Matthew 23.
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 13)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 14)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 15)
Woe to you, blind guides, (v 16)
Fools and blind! (v 17)
Fools and blind! (v 19)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 23)
Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (v 24)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. (v 25)
Blind Pharisee (v 26)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (v 27)
Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (v 28)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 29)
Serpents, brood of vipers! (v 33)
Fast forward to our common era and social media.
Imagine for just a moment if I called religious hypocrites or immoral pagans even a fraction the names Jesus used in Matthew 23.
Social media would blow up as preachers and those seeking to take the moral high ground called me out as “unloving” and “hateful.”
I would be “tarred and feathered” in the virtual world for not loving my neighbor—and I can assert this confidently, because it has happened to me in the past.
And yet, Jesus used these names—and He didn’t back off.
He kept calling them names.
He kept piling on the insults.
He kept pointing out their wicked hearts.
Friends, Jesus had no problem calling people out.
He did not walk on eggshells, always worrying about what people thought.
Although we should be concerned that people talk about us truthfully, we are worried someone out there is telling lies about us.
Hopefully, they are giving us compliments to others.
Yes, Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that we all needed, but He was also the Lion of Judah.
Jesus was more than nice.
Did you ever read in the Bible where Jesus said: “I’m sorry for hurting your feelings”?
We know according to Scripture that God is love (1 John 4:8).
Sometimes love means rebuking someone practicing immorality.
Sometimes love means reproofing things that are displeasing to the Lord (2 Timothy 4:2).
Jesus loved individuals enough to say the hard things that needed to be said.
Please stop allowing Satan to sit you down comfortably at the tables Jesus flipped.
Do not be afraid to suit up and engage the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Why would you need the whole armor of God if you never engage in a battle?
Jesus said: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).
Most of the time, the world dictates our actions, and we let it, while we shrink back from doing what God wants us to do.
Our job is to help people get to heaven.
That is not going to happen if we are so nice, that we do not seek to correct their behavior.
Maybe instead of trying to always be nice and make the world love us we should ask ourselves why we covet the love of the world in the first place!
By Carey Scott
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