One of the points Patrick Lencioni made during his Leadership Summit talk was this: Many churches suffer from terminal niceness. In other words, we allow problems to continue because we don’t want to cause ripples. A critical spirit is allowed to bleed onto innocent bystanders because we don’t want to hurt anyone feelings.
Jesus calls us to be kind; did he also say nice?
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Those drasted 4 letter words!!! It seems most of them create confusion and challenge people to either be more _ _ _ _ or less _ _ _ _. Christ compelled his listeners beyond niceness to compassion, forgiveness and other deeper rooted meaning.
Imaging if Paul’s epistles ommitted all of those admonitions to the churches he wrote to. He pours on the love and prayers followed by a good dose of, “but I have this against you…” not nice.
I doubt most maturing believers could comprehend their spirituality being exchanged because of chronic niceness. It’s the challenge of another believer that compels our own heart search.
Great points, Jim. Many believers may not even know they suffer from chronic niceness. Sometimes the kind thing to do is point out misalignment; the nice thing might be to sweep it under the rug.
Thanks for reading!