Sunday night at our gathering we were spending time in Ephesians 4. During our conversation it struck me again how important it is for us to understand the difference between being “kind” and being “nice.”
Verse 32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Paul doesn’t command us to be “nice.” He commands us to be “kind.” This distinction is very important for our relationships. This command to be kind ties back to verse 15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
Kindness differs with niceness by the inclusion of truth. Kindness can be hard and can potentially cause pain.
I asked the congregation what they thought was the difference between being nice and being kind. My son said this, “If your friend’s hair is messed up, the nice thing is to say, ‘Your hair is fine.’ But, the kind thing to say is, ‘Bruh, you need to fix that.’”
Do you see the difference?
If we are going to be kind to one another it means that we must speak the “truth in love” to one another.
We live in an age of “niceness”. Being kind is a foreign concept because kindness may cause offense and causing offense is a great sin in our culture. Sadly, because we are trading kindness for niceness, we are losing much. Many decry the extended adolescence of our culture. This exists in large part due to our loss of kindness.
Because we are no longer kind, speaking the truth in love, we have stunted the maturation of a generation.
“Nice” is not something to sought after. “Kind” is. Kind is loving. Nice is self-serving.
Which do you desire? Do you want people to be “nice” to you or would you rather have people be kind?