So often, it is assumed by many both “inside” and “outside” the Christians faith that Christians are to be “nice people.”
In other words, Christians are to be caring, kind, gentle, meek, and offensive to no one.
While love, joy, peace, kindness, and patience are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), why exactly are Christians supposed to be “nice?” Does the Bible even call for Christians to be “nice?”
Jesus and the Apostles do exhort Christians to be loving to one another, but note: to one another.
Jesus told the disciples the world would know that they are His disciples for their love for one another (John 13:35).
However, walking in love towards believers and unbelievers looks different than “being nice.”
In other words, loving someone sometimes may look like confronting their sin, or “seemingly offending” them to lead them through repentance.
However, to people who view Christianity cynically and say that “Christians aren’t nice,and they’re hypocrites,” I say:
Well duh. What do you expect from a bunch of sinners in need of grace?
And, are they “not nice” because they refuse to condone some moral behavior? Yes, Christians are to be gracious with speech, slow to anger, and always walking in step with the Gospel concerning their treatment of others.
But, let’s not confuse “being nice” with “being loving.” I would rather someone be loving to me and confront my sin than be nice to me and leave me alone in it.
When it comes to those who are outside the Christian faith, we are to no longer regard anyone according to the flesh, but instead seek to become agents of reconciliation just as we were reconciled to God through the Cross of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).
However, loving those outside of the Christian faith may not always look like “being nice.”
Concluding, don’t be nice for the sake of being nice, but be loving for the sake of pointing people to the Cross of Christ–the most brutally nice thing God ever did for man.