Today’s Blog: Are You Nice? Or Kind?
TODAY’S PROVERB: Let kindness and truth never leave you—bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3, TLV
A while back there were these commercials for an energy/snack bar called KIND. It was a thoughtful advertisement because it practically defined the difference between nice and kind. When I read this passage, I checked out their website. It turns out, the founder of KIND is a child of a Holocaust survivor, so it’s understandable he would make the distinction.
“Nice means well, but it’s not enough. Kind is different. Nice is polite, but it stays out of it. Kind is honest — it speaks up and rises to the occasion. Nice doesn’t bully, but Kind stands up to bullies. Nice is something you say, whereas Kind is something you do.”DANIEL LUBETZKY, FOUNDER KIND SNACKS AND THE KIND FOUNDATION
Honestly, I have always thought of nice and kind as interchangeable. That apparently has been my problem. Even though nice is pleasant, it’s very frustrating when you assume it is kindness.
I love living in the South. People are so polite, which was refreshing coming from the East Coast. However, after a few months here, my hubby and I became frustrated that the politeness — niceness — didn’t carry through to trying to build relationships.
Sometimes, a nice person’s actions are based on feelings — they might crave the on-the-spot approval or validation that niceness gives them. Or, they were simply brought up to be polite and nice (which really isn’t a bad thing), and were reprimanded if they were rude (also not a bad thing). Nevertheless, politeness is a temporary action, not intended to go any deeper. It’s pleasant, but goes no further. No other involvement.
Kind people aren’t afraid of sacrifice when the need arises. A polite greeting from a kind person can quickly turn to aid and compassion.
Did you know . . .
Did you know the Bible agrees with this? The word kindness is used in 34 passages, lovingkindness 104 times! Many times it’s used as an attribute of GOD.
And the word nice? It’s only used once. And, not in a “nice” way:
“For even your brothers—your father’s house— even they will betray you, even they will shout out after you. Have no confidence in them, even if they say nice words to you.”THE LORD SPEAKS TO THE PROPHET JEREMIAH, JEREMIAH 12:6, TLV [EMPHASIS MINE]
Really, the difference between kindness and niceness is truth. Truth in our motivations, truth in our actions.
Just as politeness can be taught, so can kindness. But, it must begin with a journey of the heart. Seeking the LORD to show us whether we operate in niceness or kindness, or perhaps a bit of both. He will help us refine our motives if we are willing. He will help us see the needs around us, and respond according to His will and purpose. We become His partners — His hands — in kindness. How great is that!