By Star Winston

Am I nice or am I kind?
Recently, I find myself pondering over these two words a lot. Ironically enough, it all began from watching a granola bar commercial. Their pitch had to do with the name of the bars being “kind” and what that translated to was the purity of their ingredients, honesty in labeling, and integrity of the brand. The opening line really got me thinking….”There’s a difference between nice and kind.” That sentence has played in my mind for several weeks now. I can’t seem to shake it.
So….when I can’t shake it…I explore it ūüôā
Naturally, I started with the definitions of each word. Nice is an adjective meaning: pleasing; agreeable; delightful. Kind is an adjective meaning: of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person. It all clicked for me when I saw that right there in the dictionary definitions, there were some key differences. One describing the nature of something as it appears to someone else (could be a person, but also could be watermelon or a plant). While the other is 100% specific to the nature of or disposition of a person.
We can all be nice from time to time, either intentionally or by accident. We may look nice, smell nice, have a nice smile, be nice in our words toward a stranger, work well with coworkers being “nice” on the job, etc. Though, to be kind comes from a conscious decision. You can’t just accidentally be kind to someone, being kind is action-oriented, and look at the result, it can in fact become our nature!
Imagine this… every time I choose to be kind, my very disposition or nature is changing on the inside. Becoming increasingly more kind as time goes on. How much more kindness will I then be capable of showing if I continue to choose the kinder way? The possibilities are amazing to consider.
When I look to the Bible, I see it there also. When referring to God, it is His loving kindness that causes Him to look on us with compassion and grace. It is, in fact, His very nature (as the Bible is very clear that God is love). Kindness is an action His love manifests in, coming from His disposition toward us as His children. When we mess up, when we turn away from Him, when we are cruel to each other and selfish in our ways, He still looks at us with loving kindness and shows us mercy. How obvious then it seems that when we practice this same attitude, we are transformed more and more into His image!
Amazing what a granola bar ad can do when your heart is seeking to listen to and learn from God’s voice! I desire to be kind instead of just nice.
“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.” Psalm 63:3