I usually talk out all my blog posts with Brooke before they even make it to the screen and this is one post that has been a part of our conversations for years. We've talked about it for so long because I have had a hard time coming up with the correct words and tone to explain what I want to say. As a Christian I look to Jesus for all inspiration. If I could be like one person it wouldn't be Kobe Bryant or Jim Carey or some hybrid - Kobe Carey. I would want to be like Jesus. I ask God to help me be more like Jesus every day. As I've read the Bible and studied His words I have found out one thing about Jesus over and over again -- Jesus was not nice. I even read a book in college that talked about this point, titled No More Christian Nice Guy, which highlighted this point. It's an awesome book and I totally recommend it.
I think so often in life we live in this idealistic bubble of rainbows and sunshine. We have been trained for so long to be politically correct and not to do or say anything that would upset the status quo. We've settled for the lives we have in the name of niceness. How often do you hear someone say, " I was just being nice", when really they were just being indifferent and apathetic toward something. We have decided that following Jesus is not standing up for justice, but instead putting on a half smile and being nice. If you read about the life of Jesus you will see he wasn't rainbows and sunshine (even though he created both). He was real, raw and unflinching in His passion toward full abundant life. He wanted nothing to do with evil and didn't let it slide. He was compassionate, kind, honorable and forgiving, but never nice. He never just glazed over things in the name of niceness, but rather called people out for what they were. Just like it says in 1st Corinthians 13 - Love is patient, love is kind. It never says love is nice.
I remember reading No More Christian Nice Guy and thinking if I see something wrong I am going to say it. I am going to ruffle feathers and change the status quo. Really though, I just ended up being an a-hole for awhile. The amazing thing about Jesus is that when He was not being nice, He was still being loving. And that was a lesson that I had to learn through years of practice. I had to learn that while what I was saying was good, how I was saying it was like a jack-ass. It's still a lesson I have to learn when talking to my team about performance and how I need them to do something better.
The reason that I am finally writing about this subject of "niceness" now is because recently Brooke and I were wronged, which I have written about here and here, and no one has said anything to the people that have wronged us. Not a single person that knows the story has called them out and told them what they did was wrong. No one has decided to stand up for us. I always try to put myself in the other's posistion and I can honestly say that if anyone ever did anything to one of my team members, friends or family, I would be there to defend them and call the wrong-doer out. I would try to defend those who had been wronged! And yet I find myself on a side where no one has come to my defense. People have certainly explained to me how the situation stinks, but that's about it. When I've explained the story to people I have heard the statement "That is so weird." When really there is nothing weird about it. It was evil, wrong and not in line with the way of Jesus. Let's stop calling things weird and start calling them exactly what they are.
It's hard enough to feel like no one has come to my defense, but it seems that todays social media lifestyle makes it even harder. I have to see people who know the story "like" and comment on the people have caused me so much pain. I am left thinking, "Really? You are liking and commenting as if life just goes on as normal?" And maybe they aren't even thinking about it (probably not), but why aren't you thinking about what your actions on social media say? Did you ever think for a second what that might look like to me? That your social media "niceness" is actually perceived by others as inconsiderate. Because it feels like even though you know the story, and you know my pain, you don't really care that much... and it hasn't caused you to change your "double tap, swipe" routine. That "liking" their photos is actually more important than taking a stand. Social media is not it's own separate world anymore. It's a real part of life. The way you act and react on social media actually effects the daily life of real life. Remember that.
I am not looking for my friends to banish and bash the people that hurt me because that's not what Jesus would do. But, Jesus would stand up for those who had been hurt and call out the wrong doers, especially because they are Christians. He would want people who are following him to act like they are following him and if they weren't, he would call them out.
So, if you are out there and you know that someone has wronged someone you love, really think about your actions. Both online and in daily life. If you need to stand up someone that has been wronged, do it! Don't be apathetic about evil, pain and hurt. Take a stand for justice. Don't be afraid to speak up when evil takes place, and stop calling evil "weird". Start living like Jesus. And stop just being nice.