It’s not something you probably stop and ask yourself often. But I think it’s good to self evaluate. When I was in college, I had to write a paper about myself. Part of the assignment was to ask a certain number of people how they would describe you.
So, I posted it to my Facebook wall and waited. I got lots of compliments and everyone said something about me being nice and a good friend, etc.
For the most part, I think most people would still say that I’m nice, a good friend and forgiving. I’m good with that. I always want to offer grace to others, I always want to be kind. Usually everyone is always kind back to me.
But sometimes I feel like people aren’t as nice to me as they should be… And at times, I think that’s my fault because I’m too nice.
(Is that possible?)
I’m nice even when I don’t feel like the other person deserves it.
And here’s the struggle… Isn’t this what God wants me to do?
Isn’t that the way to show the love of Christ to others?
Yes. It is. But not helping people be accountable when they have the wrong attitude or are just plain rude is not showing them the love of Christ.
Jesus never hesitated to speak the truth in love.
He actually spoke the truth while flipping over tables. He spoke the truth in love when the Samaritan woman needed to hear it. He spoke the truth when the whole town was lined up with their stones, poised to throw. I believe that Jesus wants me to speak up when I don’t feel respected. I believe Jesus wants me to tell people when they are being rude or unkind.
And that’s how I’ve been feeling for longer than I care to admit. Feeling like Jesus is whispering to my soul, speak up, stop holding your true feelings in, you need to be honest with people.
What? Honest? I’m honest, Jesus. Boy, that really got my attention. (Jesus is good at that…) So, I let that stew awhile, so when I act like I’m okay with what someone said or did I give them the idea that I’m okay with them treating me that way…and that’s me, essentially, not being honest with them.
Ok…so that’s got to change.
I probably won’t flip over any tables, though.
The older I get, the more it annoys me that I’m too nice, I think when we’re younger we want others to like us… And while it’s true that I do want people to like me, I’m ok with quality over quantity these days.
No, I don’t plan on being rude back. Maybe they didn’t even realize it and I need to clarify so that I don’t walk away offended. But I do plan on telling people when I think they are rude. Yes, I will need to individually access each situation. I’m not looking to get beat up. I’m not talking about getting up in someone’s face.
I’m not talking about being unforgiving. I’m not talking about being judgmental. I’m talking about being honest…with yourself and others when necessary.
If it’s something that you think, whatever, I don’t care. Fine. Close your mouth.
But if it’s something that’s going to hinder you moving forward in relationship to someone else and relationship to Christ, speak your truth, in love. Speak it with kindness, speak it clearly.
Insisting people treat you with the same respect and kindness you show them is important. It’s a boundary we all need to set.
And while I believe I have very healthy boundaries, this is the one I need to work on, the one where the line gets blurred too often.
Honestly, I’m not talking about just people I don’t really know, most of the time, I think it’s people I’m acquainted with, people who know I’m really nice that are not as nice back to me. And with all the Christian love in my heart, I’m over it.
And it’s really only about a handful of people…here and there. And it’s mostly other Christians…yes, it’s rarely non-believers, and when it is I give them a little more grace. (Because maybe, they don’t know better)
I’ve been feeling God nudging my heart about this and I am going to be more intentional about holding others accountable. And I think honestly, that it’s time to speak my truth as nicely as possible when others aren’t that nice to me…
I would want them to show me the same courtesy.
Sure, picking your battles is wise. Sometimes, I think it’s better to just let it go. But sometimes people actually need to know that they are rude and disrespectful.
It’s wrong to take advantage of someone’s kindness.
I would love to know if you feel like you are too nice sometimes and don’t speak your truth… in love… of course… 😂
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.
-Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Love in Christ,