Challies Gets Niceness

Humans seem to be naturally drawn to niceness. Niceness is comfortable. To be nice is to be pleasant in manner, to be agreeable, to adhere to social conventions. We like to be around people who are nice at least in large part because we are comforted by their pleasant words or deeds and by their adherence to whatever social custom dictates. It is an attractive quality, but it can also be a deceptive one. It is, after all, an external trait, and one that has no necessary correlation with what is going on at an internal, spiritual level. Christians can be nice, but so too can unbelievers. The Holy Spirit may help us be nice, but niceness is not necessarily proof that we are living in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Some of the most evil people are also the nicest people.

Tim Challies, Read more»

Related Posts:
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Was Paul Mean?
QIRE, Syncretism, Kingdom Confusion, and Evangelical Niceness
Breaking the Law of Niceness
He Agrees with RRC (I Think)
Why (Some) Reformed Folk Are Such Jerks

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  1. Nice people disturb me. If I want nice I’ll watch reruns of Touched by an Angel. Read Luther and Calvin and tell me if they’d pass the “nice” test. 🙂

  2. Perhaps the self-esteem movement of the last 40 years has something to do with this emphasis on “being nice.” Don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings! It’s important that everyone have a good self-image which, supposedly… is shaped by what other’s say or think about us? So, let’s keep it positive. Prophets preaching “peace, peace…”

    It’s that kind of thinking that diminishes the doctrine of sin. The Bible is pretty blunt, speaking in very “not-nice-ways” about our evil motives, thoughts, and deeds – indeed our very corrupt nature! Those Scriptural indictments shock our modern sensibilities. But not so shockingly, as our sinful nature is moderated by our more refined notions there is less need for a truly potent gospel of salvation. Hmm.

    Or maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of bed today…

  3. When someone appears to be exceedingly nice, I ask myself “why?” It is understandable if it is coming from grandma or a great aunt.

    I’d like to see Dr. Clark rank the faculty of WSC on a “niceness scale” with Brian McClaren ranked as a 10 (nicest). Where would
    Dr. Horton rank? And how about Dr. Bob Godfrey? BTW, which one is really taller and will that question affect their ranking?

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