More self-labeled Christians believe that being nice is more important than anything else. Curiously, none of God’s commandments mention being “nice.” Could that be because “nice” is concerned about what people see while kindness is the pure outflow of the heart?
“Niceness is how we try to climb the social ladder. But kindness is how we lift up others.”—Yaholo
Nice and Kind Aren’t the Same
What does “nice” even mean? (The definition may shock you.) Ask 100 people to draw what nice looks like and you’ll get at least 85 smiley faces. I know, because I’ve asked audiences to do similar things over the years.
Some folks think nice means:
- Speaking softly
- Saying please and thank you
- Smiling all the time
- Not arguing or debating
The Definition of Nice
“The word “Nice comes from the Latin word nescius (ignorant), which is also the origin of a lesser-known English word, nescience (ignorance). The word took a trip from Latin through Old French and Middle English before ending up in Modern English.
Nice is a splendid example of a word that is highly polysemous, which means that it has multiple meanings.”
Nice Means More Than One Thing
The word “nice” has a variety of meanings.
For example, it can mean:
- “Pleasant” or “unpleasant”.
- “Virtuous” or “lewd”.
- “Modest” or “indecent”.
Until I looked it up, I didn’t realize that “nice” nullifies itself. Without context, it’s meaningless. I think the definition of nice as ignorant is fabulously appropriate.
Searching the Bible For “Nice”
No major Bible translation contains the word “nice.” The Message (MSG) uses it liberally, but in ways that abandon the reader to their own opinion.
Here’s my favorite “nice” verse from The Message:
The same verse in the New King James (NKJV):
Choose Words With Meaning
Instead of the non-definable word “nice”, the NKJV uses words with meaning: goodness, forbearance, longsuffering.
The “Gospel of Nice” is both meaningless and dangerous. It claims membership in the body of believers as well as in a legion of demons. The gospel of Nice needs to be ejected from Christian spaces because there is no common ground between God and evil.
Instead, consider what it means to be kind. Major translations don’t use the word nice at all, but include 200 +/- references to kind or kindness (or lovingkindness.) No matter what scale you use, 200-0 makes a huge statement.
From Pastor Voddy Baucham:
“Many Christians aren’t aware of the 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt be kind.” And they don’t believe the other ten…”
Nice Isn’t Spiritual Fruit
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