Although we may use the words interchangeably, nice and kind do not mean the same thing. They share similarities, but their definitions are entirely different.
According to Oxford Dictionary, nice means “giving pleasure or satisfaction.” Kind, on the other hand, means “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.”
In Micah 7:8, the Lord is responding to the people of Israel. They have sinned against God and are asking Him if offerings and sacrifices will cover their wrongdoings. This is what the Lord says,
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Notice how the Lord didn’t instruct the Israelites to be nice, or to try harder and bring more offerings. Instead, God tells them to love kindness.
Christians aren’t called and set apart to be “those nice people”. God has called us into a deeper way of living. Nice offers the appearance and illusion of goodness, but kindness is the quality of someone’s being. Yes, they both are a choice, but kindness requires a greater personal sacrifice than simply being nice.
We can be “nice” and pay for someone’s meal behind us, but if our heart or our motives aren’t right, there’s absolutely no profit. It’s all for show.
Kindness is a state of being emotionally renewed, a place where you realize the power of grace and mercy in your life, and your call to live that out in front of a hurt, sorrow-filled world.
It’s “nice” to say “My thoughts and prayers go out to ______________,” but if your words don’t match your actions, what purpose is there? I’m not trying to be mean or harsh. I just want us to realize that often times we as Christians settle for being considered nice.
God didn’t send His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and ascend back into heaven so that we can be pleasant folk. We are called to love others, to seek the betterment of this world through the guidance of the Holy Spirit inside us!
It’s time for us to stop settling for commonplace. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was RADICAL! We are called to live and love radically.
We can’t do that if we believe the lie from the pit of the devil’s hell that God is pleased with our “sacrifice” and “offering” of niceness. Don’t you remember that it is through the blood of Jesus Christ we are redeemed and not of our own works? (Romans 5:8) We didn’t deserve or earn His favor, but He offers it to us anyway. He extends a hand of mercy and love, but are we too wrapped up in our own lives to see a world in need of a Savior’s rescue?
Lord, I pray right now that You loose the binds of deceit we’ve been living under for too long. Lord, I pray that we no longer settle for nice or pleasant, but that we live and love those around us radically. Set a fire in our hearts for You and for Your kingdom. Remind us that this life isn’t about our comfort or our recognition but for Your glory. May we lay our selfish pursuits down and begin to live intentionally, subjecting our hearts willingly to the patient leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In Your Son’s holy and beautiful name,