Being Kind vs. Being Nice

April 13, 2012

Do you have a problem being “nice” instead of being “kind”?  What’s the difference?

It seems in non-profits and churches we often confuse the two.  The issue is that sometimes a true act of kindness doesn’t feel very kind so we move to being nice.  For this conversation, I am using “nice” to describe those times in an organization when we avoid dealing with hard issues, we avoid confronting people in love because we want to preserve harmony (even though it is a false harmony).  So instead of acting kindly towards another person, we act nicely.  We avoid the issue and even often give people a false impression of how they are doing thinking that if we just encourage them, they are bound to get better.

A true act of kindness is when you care enough about another person to come alongside them and tell them hard things that will result in them growing and becoming more effective in their ministry / work.  Avoiding doing so is not kindness and not even being nice – it is really an act of selfishness in that you don’t want to go through the tension of dealing with a difficult subject.  That is not love or kindness, that is self-centeredness.

So be truly kind to those you serve with by looking out for them and being willing to engage with them on difficult subjects.  Be truly kind because ou love them and want to see them grow.

By the way – when someone confronts you, take it as an act of kindness and thank them as it took courage for them to approach you.

Have a great weekend!
BG