Tuesday, July 07, 2009

speaking the truth in love does not equal being nice all the time

Have you ever found that the quest to be nice can get in the way of being honest? Don't misunderstand me, I'm not advocating being a jerk. I'm sure as Jake gets older I'll find myself often saying "Be nice." It's a good rule to live by, but if there is a rule that trumps it (like paper beating rock in rock-paper-scissors) then that rule is "Be honest."

I suppose there wouldn't be a need for these two rules to conflict if we didn't translate being nice in our minds and lives as a means to making sure people like us. I find myself using the "be nice" rule as an excuse to say things that will make people happy, but aren't 100% truthful.

Think how much simpler our lives would be at home and at work and at school if everyone one was completely honest. Little things like "where do you want to go eat?" would not turn into monumental decisions because people would say where they wanted to eat first and then be nice second by choosing to eat where someone else wanted to go as a gesture of hospitality. It's amazing how being honest first can open the door to opportunities for being genuinely nice.

When Jesus threw the people out of the Temple for turning it into "a den of thieves" he actually made a whip to drive them out. That wasn't very nice. However, Jesus was completely honest about what was going on and how he felt about it. In turn, Jesus gave his life so that everyone could come to the "temple" and know Him and receive eternal life without having to wade through a bunch of junk. What a nice thing to do!

No comments: