I am sure we have heard it a thousand times that someone is “nice,” or that they do “nice things.” My husband and I were having a conversation centered around the word and in all my reading of the Bible, I don’t ever recall the adjective “nice” being used to describe Jesus.
This made me curious about the definition of this word. Merriam-Webster defines nice as “polite, kind; pleasing, agreeable; appropriate, fitting; socially acceptable, well-bred; virtuous, respectable.”
Some of the words we do see in the Bible to describe the Godhead is found in scriptures such as:
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Hebrews 12:6-11 For whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Just because someone is “nice” to you doesn’t mean they “love” you or it is goodness on display. There could be underlying resentment or anger in their hearts toward you. You see, being nice is only an outward display but love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are the fruit or evidence of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
By the same token, there is no disputing that God loves me. However, His Lovingkindness and goodness does not always feel “nice.” We see earlier that those whom the Lord loves he corrects and chastens. Does this mean He isn’t “good” to us? No, on the contrary, God is being good to us even in times of correction. Good parents are not always “nice” to their children, but what they teach them is for their good!
I encourage us to allow God to develop His character traits in us so that when people say we are “nice,” our hearts truly line up with our actions!
This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.