Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Nice & Gentle-The Difference

The difference between niceness and gentleness is this, one is Ego based while the other is Spirit. God calls us to be gentle and loving towards one another without judging and to be compassionate towards all in full knowledge that we ourselves are imperfect.

Who am I- has become a cry from the heart of those who have lost themselves. When asked that question they have no answer. They truly do not know who they are. Why is this so?

It happens over time. It is like a creeping fog that soon envelops the soul till oneday we no longer see ourselves or know ourselves. We live lives of agreeability to just about anyone and anything lest we be thought 'not nice' or 'mean.'

The reason why being 'nice or nicey nice' is Ego based is because we care more about what others think of us than what God thinks of us. It is also convenient, we see instant gratification on the face of those whom we are trying to impress. We dont see the face of God, we see each other and then we compound the error by thinking that pleasing people is pleasing God. No it isnt.

How many times have you been asked to do a friend a favor and though you know your schedule is already maxed out, you end up agreeing to do this favor? Once home though you find you are overworked, overstressed and overwrought, you then take your irritability out on your family. The question to ask yourself is this, why did you agree to do something when you knew you had no time?

Was your motive to impress God or impress your friend?

Another thing that nice people do is to run from challenges, lest our opinion be thought 'judgemental or mean.' At times we are being called to say the exact opposite of what a person wants to hear. To give an example a friend once approached me and told me that she no longer loved her husband and wished to embark on an affair with a fellow worker. My friend asked for my opinion, I gave it to her and said that adultery is a sin and that I hoped she would reconsider and try and improve her marriage. Is it what she wanted to hear? NO!

Nice people become 'yes people.'

In order to be true to yourself then be true to God and stand up for your fundamental beliefs even if it means going against the flow.

William Wilberforce was a man who went against the flow, many of his parliamentary collegues considered him a traitor to his class. Did their personal opinion stop this man from his crusade to stop slavery? NO!

The key to is to care for others without relying on their opinion for your own self worth. Be responsible, be caring but be prepared to move on.

How many of the twelve Apostles remained safe and comfortable? How many of our greatest Saints lived lives of comfort and ease, never rocking the boat?

Until you have been tested you will never know your own capabilities nor will you reach great spiritual heights. You will remain safe.

Is your need to be perceived as 'nice' worth the price you will pay?