WHICH IS EASIER: TO BE NICE AND GOOD TO PEOPLE OR TO LOVE PEOPLE? ~ Precious C Philip
I have noticed a lot of religious Christians advocate being nice and good to people over loving people. I sat down and thought about why majority of people champion being nice and good to people over loving people and I realized it is because it is much easier to be nice and good to people than it is to love people.
Now, is this a Scriptural command? Does it tally with the commandments of God? Well, Matthew 22:39 categorically states: "The second most important commandment is like it: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'"
Does this scripture enjoin Christians to be nice/good to people? Nope! It rather says, love people as you love yourself. Now that demands a lot more from you and I. So do you now see why religious people and nominal Christians who're not born again and live by worldly principles advocate being nice and good to people? Because it doesn't require a lot to do.
The genesis of this idea of being nice and good to people is the world, and one thing we know about the world is that its instructions, principles, ideologies, and teachings often contradict the teachings of the Holy Bible. Now, nominal Christians who have little or no regard for God's word, and religious Christians who debate, argue, logicize and complain about God's commands and label God's commandments impossible to obey, are quick to embrace the teachings of the world because they're easy for humans to obey since they're given by humans. No wonder they quickly jumped at that piece of unscriptural advice to be nice and good to people as opposed to loving people. "It doesn't cost a lot to be nice or good to people", the world says.
What exactly is the difference between being nice and good to people and loving people?
You should be able to tell the difference from the definition of the word "nice", "good", and "love".
Simply, to be nice to people is to try to please people with your actions and words; you can fake it, but act friendly in your speech and attitude (you can curse or hate people in your heart). To be good to people is simply to be kind, benevolent, generous, friendly, helpful, and/or considerate (you are only expected to show one aspect of love which is kindness and nothing else).
Now, to love people is to treat people the way God expects you to treat them. How? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails", (you see that this encompasses kindness, forgiveness, patience, meekness, others-centeredness, protection, and a lot of other things); and Matthew 7:12: "In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you."
Again, from these definitions, which is the easiest one to do? To be nice and good to people of course. But what God commands is to love people. So, when next you read on social media or you're advised to be nice to people or to be good to people, discard that advice and immediately remind yourself what God actually commands and demands from you: love people.
Nominal Christians choose to promote being nice and good to people because it is much easier to do than loving people. You can be good to someone and not love them in your heart. You can hate someone in your heart but physically pretend to be good to them. You can also be nice to someone physically while planning to do them great harm in your heart. But you cannot genuinely love people and plan evil for them or treat them bad. You are naturally good to whoever you love.
Always remember that God looks at your heart, not just your seemingly good deeds/actions. Love emanates from the heart and finds expression in your behavior, speech, and actions. But being nice or good to people in most cases doesn't come from the heart. In your heart, you can harbor envy, jealousy, bitterness, anger, and hatred against someone and still treat them nice or give them a good attitude because you're seeking to be a nice or good person to receive praise and commendation from men.
Being good or nice to people can earn you the praise and commendation of men. But it'll not earn you the praise, commendation, and approval of God. It is only by loving people that you'll receive God's approval. So obey the Scripture. Do what the Almighty God commands, and don't listen to the unbiblical quotes of nominal Christians and men who have no connection with God - who constantly search out ways to drive people's attention away from God by giving false interpretations of God's commandments or alternatives to God's commandments that are easy to obey with self-will.
To obey the commandments of God or the command to love people, you cannot do it with just self-will and human strength, because it's not a command from another human being like you, but a command from a divine Being who is not human. You need the help of another divine Being to obey His commands. God knows this and doesn't expect you and I to try to obey any of His commands with our own strength, so He sent us the Holy Spirit - who is also God. Therefore, you need the power and enablement of the Holy Spirit to obey the commandments of God. This is why it is important for you to be born again; because you receive the Holy Spirit who begins to dwell and live in you the moment you repent of sinful living and accept Jesus and begin to live for Him in holiness.
On the other hand, to be nice/good to people, you do not need help from God. I mean, the world never even advise you to pray to God to give you strength to be nice or good to people. No one gives you such advice, because they know your strength, self-will and determination can fuel you to do that. Those that preach being good to people have probably tried to love people using their own strength and could not; so they concluded that it's impossible and opted to do the one they can do with their strength: being nice and good to people.
Think about this limitation: When the people you're being nice and good to hurt you badly, you really cannot absorb it and forgive them from your heart and still continue to be nice/good to them, because only love can bear all things and only love has true forgiveness in it. This is one of the BIG limitations of being nice to people. You'll only be nice and good to people who deserve your goodness, who appreciate your niceness, and who reciprocate your niceness and goodness to them. Those who do not appreciate your goodness and niceness to them, you'll not continue being good and nice to them for long. Can you still be nice and good to that neighbor of yours if you find out that they're planning to rob your family and kill your parents? Can you still be nice to your colleague if you find out that they're trying to incriminate you and get you fired? Think about it.
But this is different with loving people. When you love people, their actions and inactions won't stop you from loving them. You'll not stop loving them even if they do not appreciate and reciprocate your love to them. You'll just love them unconditionally because the kind of love God commands you to have for your neighbor is an unconditional love. This means that even if they hate you, insult you, offend you, mistreat you, hurt you, you'll still love them and never stop loving them. Your loving them will not depend on them loving you back - the way your being nice or good to people is usually dependent on them being nice and good to you.
Choose to obey the commands of God. Read the Bible and know what God commands, so you'll not be deceived by false teachings and ideologies flying around these days. God's command is clear: LOVE PEOPLE.
God bless you. Come back again next week Monday for another rich message from God to you.