For years, my husband was the executive producer of a national Christian television show. The network hosted well-known television personalities, mostly ministers of large churches and organizations and Christian “celebrities.” He used to tell me how the talent, the guests, behaved in the Green Room before they walked on to the television set.

The Green Room is where guests wait to go on set. In the Green Room, you interact with the staff who is trying to meet your needs prior to your appearance. Sadly, he was often shocked by the rude behavior displayed to the staff, e.g., entitlement, demanding and self-centered. But when the camera came on, the same people who were not nice in the Green Room, turned on the charm. What happened off the set, was telling. One guest was so rude to the make-up and hair people, my husband refused to have him on the show again. What people saw on camera was not the same person when the lights were off.

When no one is looking, are you nice or rude and entitled? Being nice, which is motivated by kindness, should be a trait of Christ followers. And in our highly divided and polarized culture, being nice may be needed now more than ever. Bad behavior seems to be the norm. Unfortunately, Christians have joined in on bad behavior on social media. Many are not nice or kind.

Being nice matters whether you are famous or a janitor in a school. It reflects what is in your heart. It requires empathy and humility. So next time you are with someone, take one moment and think, what is their life like and how can I make it better vs what can they do for me. Philippians 2:3 directs us. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Humility means you are not the most important person in the room. It also means that nice guys may finish last! But according to the research, nice guys will be happier and may live longer than their selfish counterparts.

We also know from studies that a lack of civility and disrespect has many negative consequences, more than not being invited back to do a TV show! Just take the workplace for example. In settings where there is incivility, there is more turnover, absenteeism, disengagement, poor judgment and decision-making. And the truth is, we just don’t want to be around people who are not nice!

Thankfully, people can have nice moments, but the kindness the Bible talks about is Spirit-produced. In the natural, it would be so difficult to live out Jesus’ words to “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” Luke 6:35. Who can live according to Jesus’ words without the power of the Holy Spirit motivating such kindness?

Our kindness reflects God’s heart and comes from loving God. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you,” How do you measure up?  Are you kind and nice to those around you, especially when no one sees you? What about to the man on the road who just cut you off at the light? How do you respond to the person in the express grocery line with a cart overflowing with groceries? How about the person who insults you for your values? Do sarcasm and rudeness come quickly to your mind and mouth?

Proverbs 21:21 says, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.” Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with love and kindness. To be nice takes more than doing nice things. It must be motivated from a heart of love, one that is transformed by the heart of God.

Why Christians should be nice

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