Friday, June 8, 2007

The Tyrany of Being "Nice"

Yesterday I was on Emerging Grace’s blog ( (sorry, I don’t know how to do the link thing- can anyone help?) and found a wonderful article about being “nice” in the midst of church leaders being……um….well….. not nice.

This has sparked a conversation in my head and between my husband and myself on how to talk to people who are coming to us and asking questions. Most of the time, after they leave, he will tell me that I was too “nice.” He wants them to know the truth and has no qualms about laying it out in its totality. I do not want to be mean and it sounds so mean to tell people what these people really did and said. Good people, godly people do not do what we are saying they did.

Here is what Heidi Renee wrote as a comment to Emerging Grace’s post:
Heidi Renee said...
I always wonder where this concept of "nice" came from? Can you imagine Jesus saying "Be ye nice to one another?" No, me either. He did say "be kind" though.

I think there is a mammoth difference between Nice & Kind - nice is patronizing, never courageous and doesn't want to rock the boat - even when it's called for and you are dealing with a-holes...

Kind knows that telling your daughter that outfit looks "nice" even when it is horrible isn't truly kind, and some courage is needed to be kind enough to say so.

Nice can't handle conflict, kindness can. The kingdom is dying because of nice-ness - we have filled out pews with people who put up with abuse from a-holes in power and the kind people are being trounced on, because they've confused kind with nice.

I believe forgiveness happens when we are able to tell the truth - it sets us free. Deciding that you are done with giving that person the power to hurt you again and laying down the power to seek revenge is where I am able to begin to find healing and begin the forgiveness process. I forgive for me, not for them.

Great post Grace - got me thinking this morning! :)

This has been so freeing in my head this morning. I am called to be Kind – Not Nice. I can be kind and tell the whole ugly truth. Kindness even demands the truth. That is also why I hated conflict. I can’t be in conflict and be “nice.” I can, though, and be kind.

I have lived under the tyranny of nice. Freedom comes in living under the grace of kindness.

I love this. This will change my life!


Marti G said...

Living under the grace of kindness... I love this!

By the way, I know you're blogging anonymously, but if anyone ever wants/needs to talk or vent more privately with me, I'm not sure there's a link anywhere on my site. You can reach me at marti at grahlfamily dot com

Barb said...

thanks so much. I went onto your webblog today and read. I will enjoy keeping up with you.

Thanks for the personal email. I may take you up on it.

former leader

Eric Muhr said...

For a link,

Text that will be highlighted

Barb said...


this link led to nowhere, could you try again?

Mary said...

I can really relate. My husband is much more comfortable with speaking the truth about these situations while I'm still trying to figure out how to say it in a nice way. I water it down so much that it looks like I'm really over-reacting to minor problems. I don't like conflict either - you get trampled on if you're nice. Grace's post has been freeing to me as well. Freedom!