So I had a revelation yesterday. Nice is boring.
I had a brief conversation with someone the other day—none of you fine folks, so don’t panic—and I was struck by how banal the conversation was. Just… blah. I contributed a little, but spent most of the time just nodding my head. The weather, kids, pets, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t even remember what it was about.
I do remember thinking: This is one of the nicest people I know and she’s incredibly boring. She’s cheerful, she cares about people. And I know now why I don’t talk with her more. I feel myself aging.
Now, lest you think I’m some kind of wench for saying this, a little history. I spent my entire childhood through young adult life trying to be nice. I did not ruffle any feathers. I toed the party line. I went to church, school, sports, whatever. I got good grades. I did not speak up for myself for the most part. Being nice kept me under the radar and safe. Or so I thought.
But if Jesus is our model, and He is for me, since I’m a Christian, guess what? He wasn’t nice. He got angry sometimes. He called people on the dirt floor for their attitudes and behaviors. He wasn’t concerned with keeping the boat afloat. Heck, sometimes He didn’t even use a boat!
The online dictionary has 15 definitions for the word nice. Fifteen! For this blog, I am focused on #14: trivial, unimportant. I believe that this word has boiled down to this usage most of the time. This is not a quality I want to continue to aspire to.
Jesus messed things up. Yes, he cared about people and was kind. Not the same as being nice. He did miracles, healings, spoke truth. None of these qualifies as nice. He endured scourging and the cross for me. Not nice, either.
I guess being nice, for me, is not getting it done. You’re not connecting with people. You’re not helping people. You’re barely alive.
It’s not enough.