On Being Nice

There I stood in my best suit in front of a man who had just eaten an egg salad sandwich.  What can one do when little pieces of egg and mayonnaise come flicking your way?   Every “P” and “B” came loaded.  I tried backing up a step but he merely closed the gap.   I could have said, “No thanks, I’ve already eaten.”   But I doubt if that was appropriate.  Recently I was accused of being nice.  That is only because I don’t say everything I think to say.  Inside I am not nice.

I’m sure you have noticed that the word “nice” is not in the Bible.  Jesus never told us to go forth and be nice.  However, the absence of something does not mean the opposite should be practiced.  The Bible never said Jesus rode a horse, only a donkey.  That doesn’t mean we should not ride horses.   So I am inclined to think being nice is a fine virtue.

When we are employed to service something or sell something our employer expects us to be nice to the customer.  Rude salespeople rarely make a sale.  I actually bought a car once only if the dealer promised me the saleswoman did not get anything from the sale.

Evangelism is sales.  We are promoting the best product ever.  Often the object of our promotion is people we live with.  That means being nice.  Who would want to be a Christian if the Christians weren’t examples of their product?  Gandhi once said he would have become a Christian if it were not for Christians.  Great point.

So I said nothing.  I merely brushed off my suit after the food-launcher departed to the other side of the room.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 2, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574