The other day I was in Best Buy and I was working through a refund issue on a refrigerator we were purchasing. It was becoming a headache but the customer service people and I stayed with the issue and worked it through. In the process they gave me 30.00 back in rewards and 50.00 dollars back on my gift card even tho I was using it for my new purchase on a refrigerator. It is all confusing. Sorry. The bottom line is I walked away with an extra 160.00 dollars. I asked the customer service people why they were being so generous to with me. They said it was because I was being nice. (I was thanking the Lord that I was nice that time!)
My daughter called the other day and she said she has learned an important lesson. If a person is nice then people are much nicer. She was involved with a mock interview for a job and she learned that even in the awkwardness of getting started with the interview if she is nice to the interviewee the discussion starts on a positive note and can continue on a pleasant path.
Nice does work. I do think we can get further in life in a more positive way if we are nice. But, I do question myself, at times, why am I nice? I started asking myself “am I nice to be nice or am I nice because I want something?” If I am nice to be nice then I am exemplifying the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:22,23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” In the core of my heart I am behaving with kindness or being nice. If I am nice because I want something then I am manipulating a situation to my advantage or, even worse, behaving like a narcissist. The definition of a “narcissist” is a lover of self. The motive of a “narcissist” is does it benefit me?
A great example of “narcissism” is I have a German shepherd dog named Rufio. He is an independent dog and isn’t very affectionate with us. He does become engaging and affectionate when he wants something we are eating. He will come and hang out with us in the morning while we are eating our Hostess Donettes and nuzzle up to us. He is being nice because he wants a donut and, of course, we give him his donut allotment. He is nice to us because he wants something and I guess we have trained him that way.
My husband and I have a friend named Josh. Josh has a heart that has no will of it’s own. His heart is full of the love of Jesus and he lives his life to the will of his father, God. Josh is nice because he is nice. He has no hidden motives. He genuinely gets a deep satisfied joy in being kind and nice to people. Anyone who knows Josh will attest to Josh’s character that he is the nicest person they know. It says in 2 Timothy 2:24; And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Josh is kind/nice to everyone.
This is my challenge to myself and to you. When ever I find myself being nice I ask myself. Am I being nice to be nice or am I being nice to get something. If for some reason it is to get something then I ask the Lord to help me to understand my motives. Why do I in the core of my heart not desire to be nice to be nice… even if I do not get something out of it.