I do a double take when I read the words on the screen, the ones that compliment a writer for being both nice and smart. The part that got me, however, were the ones written soon after, words calling this a rare combination. I wanted to jump through my little white laptop and ask point blank,
“What in the Sam Hill do you mean both kind and smart is a rare combination? So most of us poor folks have to choose one or the other?”
I drum my fingers on my desk as I mentally list all the people I know who are both nice and intelligent.
And then a short time later, I leave a comment on a beautiful blog post written by a friend. She replies to my comment using a sentence that finds me often: Kristen, you’re the nicest girl ever.
And I roll my eyes as my hands velcro to my hips. I look at my gorgeous friend’s face on the screen and say the words out loud,
“For the love, quit calling me nice!”
And then I sink back in my chair, realizing I’ve bought into at least part of the lie myself: if you think I’m super nice, maybe you don’t think I’m super smart or fierce. And what’s more, if you see me as Nicey McNicersons, do you take what I say seriously or just wave it off as meaningless, she’s-just-being-nice talk?
Almost daily I am called “nice” by someone in my real life or online circles. And I’ll be honest: it has reduced me to tears because sometimes, nice doesn’t feel like enough. Nice feels like a pushover, a doormat, the one you can’t take too seriously. The nice one is the shy one standing in the corner. She isn’t owning the dance floor all wild and witty.
From the perspective of some nice-girl givers, nice is vanilla-flavored boring.
But to the kindness receiver, it tastes like double chocolate heaven.
“I know nobody wants to be ‘nice’ because that word isn’t fierce and passionate and warrior-like and blah, blah, blah. Gimme a break. If you’ve ever had someone be nice to you, you know what a gift it is . . . it can make your heart grow wide as saucers.”
~ John Blase
No doubt about it: nice is powerful. Nice is the way hope turns its face to you, often unexpectedly. Nice leaves you breathless. Nice is the cool drink of water that lingers on dry hearts in need.
So if you are one of the nice ones, know this:
You aren’t a pushover, but the one who pushes an endless stream of encouragement onto others.
You aren’t a doormat, but the open door to which people are welcomed through.
You aren’t boring, but a life-giver that resurrects dead feelings and cold hearts.
Nice girl, there is life in your design and a fire in your bones. Inside you is a personality that shines brighter than megawatt light bulbs. You shout encouragement from the front lines and whisper truth in the quiet places. You boldly sling love like there’s no tomorrow and use kindness to change the conversation, the game, the world. Do not eclipse your light by believing nice isn’t enough or by pining away for a personality other than the one God gave you.
An infinitely creative God makes room for infinitely creative personalities. They are all equally valuable and equally needed. Regardless of personality type, we need those who aren’t afraid to confidently be who God created them to be. And this includes those like you, the one who knows nice isn’t just something you do but something you are.
And when you find yourself on the receiving end of kindness, taste and see it for what it is: Someone taking you by the heart to give you a glimpse of how your Savior sees you.
This is the truth: nice folks are love-spreaders, grace-sharers and gospel-livers.
And living the gospel? Now, that’s always a smart choice.
Kristen Strong, a nice girl writing at a nice place called Chasing Blue SkiesLeave a Comment