Niceness is not the same thing as godliness. People can be “nice” with or without the Spirit of God.
Sometimes being nice and being godly have similar external attributes:
– Doing things to others.
– Helping people.
But they have different motives and fuel.
Being nice is often about:
– Using being pleasant and agreeable as self-protection or manipulation of others to get them to like me.
– Trying to impress other people.
– Avoiding conflict.
– Being popular.
– Wanting other people’s approval.
– Putting up with abuse.
– Not speaking up when others are bullied or mistreated.
– Going with the flow.
– Being weak.
Jesus was not nice, He was good. He was holy and righteous. He was loving, kind, compassionate, merciful, and self-sacrificing. But niceness was not His goal for Himself or for us.
Being godly is about:
– Acting in the Holy Spirit with God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
– Seeking God’s approval more than anyone else’s.
– Loving God wholeheartedly first and loving people second.
– Doing what is right in God’s eyes with the right motives.
– Standing firmly against anything God says is wrong.
– Speaking up against sin out of love for others and concern for their souls and eternal wellbeing.
– Obeying God even when it is unpopular, even in the face of persecution.
– Seeking to bless others and do what is in their best interest eternally.
– Willing to love sacrificially and be a servant—not out of fear— but out of love for God and people.
– Being respectful of all people but not of evil.
– Defending and protecting those who are mistreated.
– Seeking God’s glory, not mine.
– Being very strong in Christ and in His authority to do good to others and to be the hands and feet for Jesus.
– Being ready to face those who oppose the Lord with love, truth, gentleness, and respect.
– Being willing to upset people in order to please God, when necessary.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8