“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
– O, Holy Night
The victims of abuse do not, for the most part, think of themselves as nice. Not “really” nice. Not white glove, blue hair nice. Not church twice a week nice. Not first tier, upper crust, silver tea tray nice.
We know what goes on behind the lace curtains. We have seen the underbelly of life, the face of evil hidden from public view. We have been told we are worthless, and treated as if we were. Beaten, spit upon, handled in ways that left us feeling dirty.
But good manners are not the measure of our humanity, whether we have or lack them. Salvation does not require good breeding and a sterling reputation. The silver tea trays and white gloves are irrelevant.
It was not “nice” for Jesus Christ to associate with tax collectors. It was not “nice” for Him to heal lepers or hemorrhaging women. Lepers (Lev. 13: 45) and bleeding women (Lev. 15: 19) were, in fact, considered ritually unclean. It was certainly not “nice” for Jesus to pardon prostitutes.
It may have been compassionate, even merciful. But it was not “nice”.
What Christ offered these desperate people was redemption, transformation beyond anything that could be accomplished through worldly means alone. For that He was castigated, and ultimately crucified.
What the religious elite of Christ’s day, the Pharisees – and far too many Christians like them today – valued was propriety. Not virtue, and certainly not holiness.
What modern Christians forget is that they, too, are desperate people. They, too, are riddled with sin for which self-righteousness is no cover and no cure. Only from that perspective can they understand the significance of Christ’s death and Resurrection.
Jesus Christ asks more of us than punctuality and perfect attendance. He wants to set us ablaze with love for Him and for others…the weak and flawed like ourselves, the outcast and broken, sinned against and sinning. He wants us to change the world.
That takes more than being “nice”.
With thanks to Susanne Schuberth
A Happy New Year to All!
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16 responses to “Nice”
Honestly, any group that perceives walls of separation between themselves and others who are not in “their group” will never understand what Jesus was about until they are able to remove those walls and see how we are all the same. Are you familiar with Pete Walker’s work, his books? Some amazing revelations. Happy 2016, with love.
Sadly, I think human beings tend to define themselves by excluding others. Thank you for the reference, Christina. I will have to check out Walker’s books. And a Happy New Year to you, too! Love, A. ❤
The gift of introspection can’t be underestimated in how we see others once we have humbled ourselves. Much love to you.
And much love to you, Christina.
That was a nice surprise, dear Anna! 😀
Thank you for your “nice” reference here. Actually, you made me smile as I just happened to read this post of yours. I do believe you are right as for our Lord Jesus Christ. Although He was not (always) nice, He came to draw the sick to God, whether they were sick from their own sinful life or sick from having been sinned against as it was and is for abuse victims. As long as people are not yet “sick” of their own life, He cannot really help them, I assume. But “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Ps 34:18 ESV)
With love ❤
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU,TOO! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Glad you like the post, Susanne! 🙂 You are always an inspiration to me. Love, A. ❤
Amen Anna! Yes indeed He went after the lost, outcasts, destitutes, and so many others. I had a friend named Annie years ago. She had been a prostitute and was pregnant. I was her only friend. She had to serve time in jail but then she had her baby and was losing so much blood. She wanted me to visit her in the hospital. I did visit her in jail too, but I was supposed to clean a house on that day she asked me to visit her in the hospital. My client would not let me cancel cleaning his house. Then I made a remark that I now regret, well it’s not like she is going to die today anyways. Well she did. Crying now. Her sister came to Florida from Texas and she must have found out a way to contact me through her belongings. I met with her at a hotel and she gave me a note that Annie had written to me just before she passed. I was the last one on her mind that day. Yes Anna, I would much rather sit around people that Jesus sat with. Thank you.
I am sure your friend knew how much you cared for her, Stacey.
If I may be so bold to say Anna….there was a time when he did set our hearts ablaze with His love. The scripture calls it “our first love”.
Somehow,somewhere in the process of the journey(life)that roaring fire has been reduced to a few dimly lit embers waiting to be fanned once again into a raging inferno for Him.
May we all recognize that the highest calling we can have is one of servant-hood.
You have made some very interesting and
valid points Anna.
I was brought up a Catholic by Irish parents
and being “nice, kind, considerate and thoughtful to others ”
was always something I was taught to do. And still do.
I ‘m sure our Lord didn’t mind mixing with the “low life .”
After all he was put on this earth to help us all.
Redemption should be an avenue open to everyone.
Thanks, Alan. I, too, believe in being “nice, kind, considerate and thoughtful of others”, as you put it. My point was only that propriety and an appearance of respectability do not necessarily equate with kindness. Should have made myself more clear.
Thank you Anna.
Please forgive my mistake.
I misinterpreted your words.
No need, Alan. 🙂
Very profound post, Anna.
Those that think of themselves as “nice” generally have no need of coming to Christ. I’m very sorry for the way you lost your identity as “nice,” it’s such a horrible and evil way to lose innocence. People should lose their sense of being nice by waking up to their own sin, not the sins committed against them. I hope that makes sense.
Thank you as always for your kindness, Bill.