A good friend of mine in Oklahoma City concludes nearly every conversation we have by telling me to “Be Nice.” He is a nice guy himself and he encourages me not just by saying the words, but by the way he lives.
Something happened to me today that reminded me of the importance of being nice. I learned again why it is important for us to be kind to others. I was up early this morning preparing for a lunch meeting in Houston. I drove down to LUV field, got on the plane and flew down to Houston.
I had rented a car through Priceline (which I always try to do because it saves mucho bucks!) On the way from Houston Hobby to the rental car facility the driver informed those of us on the bus that there might be a wait getting our cars. It seems like they weren’t prepared for as many renters as they were getting today. I was beginning to think, “that’s what I get for using Priceline!”
When he pulled up to the facility to let us out my heart sunk. There were people standing all over the lot; in the premium, full-size, mid-size, and compact sections. There must have been about thirty people or groups of people waiting. As I got out of the bus I could hear people complaining with serious anger. I began to think that I would miss my meeting. They were bringing out only one car at a time. It was obvious that it was not going well, and it was going slowwww!!
I had rented a mid-size car for nineteen dollars, and I feel sure that most of the twenty-plus people in front of me were also waiting on mid-size cars. There were only two girls in the lot. They were feverishly working, trying to help all of these people. I waited a minute, walked over to one of the girls and said, “So what’s the problem today?” She responded with great exasperation, “The problem is they’ve stuck me out here to listen to all of these people who are complaining and cussing me out.” I said, “I’m not going to curse you, or be upset with you at all.” Then I asked her if people were really cursing her. She said, “Most of these people standing here have either yelled at me or cussed at me.” I said, “Surely they know it’s not your fault?” Then I said, “don’t worry, it will get better and everything will be okay.” I patted her on the shoulder and walked away.
As I was walking away she said, “Sir.” I said, “Yes ma’am?” She said, “You see that convertible coming out of the car wash there?” I said, “Yes ma’am.” She said, “You are going to get that car, right now!” I said, “I’m supposed to get a mid-size.” She said, “I know, but I have the authority to give you whatever car I choose, because we don’t currently have any mid-size vehicles, and since you are the first person who has been nice to me, I’m going to give it to you!” I said, “Thank you very much.” She said, “No, thank you for being nice.”
Now, please understand that I don’t believe that we should be nice just because it pays to be nice, because the truth is it might not always pay.
Why then should we be nice, or kind to others?
We should be kind because God is kind (Psalm 145:17; Romans 2:4; 11:22). If we want to be like God we will be kind.
We should be kind because love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Kindness is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
We should be kind because the Bible commands kindness in Christians (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12; 2 Peter 1:7).
We should be kind because there are so many hurting people in our world who need to see acts of kindness. When we are kind the Word of God is honored (Titus 2:5). So, Christian friend, go out there and “be nice” to someone today!
Dear God, help us to be kind to others. Help us to be kind because we want to be like You. Help us to be kind because we want to obey Your Word. Help us, dear Lord, to be kind because it shows that Your Spirit is living in us. And help us, Father to be kind because there are so many people we will see today who just need a word of kindness.