But somehow some of God’s people have been convinced that niceness is the name of the game…well it’s not.
Now of course I’m not advocating that we should go out and be deliberately rude and insensitive and crass. But to be faithful to the Lord will mean at times that people will think we’re not nice. It’s a fact, get over it.
Niceness can often be another name for fear of man. It may at times be a lust to be liked. To have people think highly of us. To be popular and esteemed by man. You know of course that Jesus spoke about these very issues. Frequently and strongly. “Don’t seek to be honoured by men and ignore the honour that comes from the Father” he said. If they hate Him they will hate us, He warned.
If those who despise Christ think we on the other hand are nice; there is a problem.
We are not called to be nice. We are called to be holy, to be righteous, to be obedient, to act from love not hunger for popularity.
Niceness is a bland virtue. It has a distinct lack of power. It conjures up images of unmotivated moral mushiness.
It is a selfish apathy that would not speak a life saving truth for fear of offending the one in danger..and have them think we are not nice.
Many people are bound in shackles of niceness. Christians may indeed be amongst them. How else can we explain the fact that wolves in shepherds clothing can preach blatant lies about the God of glory week after week and many of God’s people don’t utter a peep… and some of them keep attending week after week. Even those who realise it’s spiritual death to remain under the preaching of an apostle of apostasy, will often slink out the back door desperately hoping no one thinks ill of them and leave the rest to their fate.
Others would never dare tell a work colleague or neighbour that without Christ they’re bound for hell. What would they think? What would they say?
Well the Christians in the early church were not lifted up as examples of niceness. They were bold, courageous, unflinching in their declarations of the truth of Christ and the consequences of rejecting the heaven birthed message. They acted in love, but it was a robust, holy love, with the fear of God the focus and not the fear of man.
And today we have practicing sodomites leading some churches. We have ordained ministers ignoring the gospel and preaching a green theology created by giain earth worshippers. There are slick con men fleecing God’s flock. And still the people of God, hobbled by niceness, refuse to speak- allowing the insidious spiritual poison to take more victims to a Christless eternity.
If you are reading this and thinking, “Glenn that’s not very nice”. Then it’s you I’m talking to.
There is no eleventh commandment saying “Make sure you’re nice and that people like you.”
It’s better to be respected than liked. Many a prophet was hated but earned a grudging respect.
It’s better to be lonely in obedience than surrounded by fair weather friends in your faithlessness.
It’s better to be rejected by men and`accepted by God than the other way around.
It’s better to be divided by truth than united with error.
Modern man has created the myth of the likeable “god” A doddering weak grandfather who can’t bear to say no to his brood. A man pleasing god whose only desire is to grant us what ever our little hearts wish. An indecisive double-minded non assertive desperate to be liked deity.
I like my God better. He’s not nice. He’s indescribably holy. When I think God, I don’t think butterflies and kittens, I think majestic mountains, roaring waterfalls, orbiting planets all paling into insignificance at just a glimpse of His presence. I think all the power of the universe at the control of the white hot love of Elohim. I think Christ bowing the heavens to come on His divine rescue mission for me and all the other totally undeserving human inhabitants of this God ordained planet.
I think God seated on a throne of glory, dwelling in unapproachable light surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand angels worshipping this One of infinite power.
My God, even though I’m covered in Christ, scares me. But it’s a fear that doesn’t scare me from Him, it scares me to Him. I love Him but only because He first loved me. And it’s not a light, flippant kind of love but a breathtaking awe and desire to be in His presence even if it kills me, which it just might…but it would be worth it.
So if we serve a Divine being such as this how can we present to the world our niceness and hope that they to might think He too is nice? He doesn’t chew His nails at night hoping that men might like Him. He commands men everywhere to repent and bow being His majesty.
So dear fellow believer, lay down your lust to be liked. Pick up the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and go to battle for souls. You just may find your juices stirred again as you begin to live this life in Christ. You may lose some temporal friends but you may win some eternal souls.
And if you are a preacher of the gospel, preach the gospel! Don’t succumb to the temptation to spread likeable lies about God. Speak the truth of Christ, of sin and hell and judgement to come. You may stir anger and even persecution but better the short-lived flaming comet of the martyr than the long, tedious, lightless life of the compromiser.
It is far better to experience the blazing life of victory of the persecuted faithful than a shadowy lingering death by niceness.