Is It Enough to Be a Nice Person?

It’s possible to be nice to someone and not show genuine love.

Even in today’s culture, we’re surprised when someone acts rudely toward us. (What did we do to deserve that?) It’s culturally acceptable to be nice — to show common courtesy to those around us. We train our children in “niceties” as they interact with friends and elders.

But niceness can only go so far.

My wife recently experienced a casualty of the kitchen war. While cutting vegetables, she cut the end of her finger. When she called for help, I could have seen the blood on her hand and see the look of pain in her face and said, “Oh, honey. I’m sorry. That looks bad. I hope it gets better soon” and walked away.

But I didn’t.

I quickly grabbed a towel and bandages to stop the bleeding. I came alongside her when she started feeling faint and queasy.  I know I didn’t do everything absolutely right, but…

…I wasn’t going to walk away without doing something.

In our Commissioning group on Sunday, we talked about God’s call for us to care for the sick. God doesn’t tell us to just be nice to people who are sick and hurting; He wants us to do something about it. This couldn’t be more clear in Scriptures.

Check out James 2:14-17:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (ESV).

In other words, if God allows me to see something, he means for me to act on it. Faith without loving action is lifeless. I may not be able to do everything, but I can do something. If I don’t have the skills, I can bring someone who does. No matter what the case, the fact remains.

I can’t just walk away.

A couple of our teens shared some ideas for how we can be involved in caring for the sick. We heard what people were doing around the world to care for the 11 million children (most under the age of five) who die each year from completely preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. We heard about doctors traveling overseas to help, people building wells and clean water systems, and more.

In all of this, someone kept asking, “What needs can we meet where we are?” It’s as if they knew that caring for the needs of the sick begins by doing something right where they are. As a result, one of our teens is doing some research to find out and give us a specific action step.

It’s nice for us to become aware of people’s needs; but “nice” is not enough to make a difference.

We must take a step into loving action.

We won’t be able to meet all needs, but we can meet some. Our Start> series introduced us to a helpful quotation to keep in mind. Edward Everett Hale once said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

God makes us aware of needs all the time.

We can choose to be nice people.

OR

We can be people of loving action.

May we take the first loving step with whatever need we see…today.

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  1. […] As a follower of Jesus, my desire is to live a life reflecting His heart. I’ve received so much from God’s goodness, and I want to share that goodness with all those around me. Yet, I can want to do something but never actually act on it. It’s nice to want to show goodness, but that just isn’t enough. […]

  2. […] Is It Enough to Be a Nice Person? […]



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