Have you ever had someone tell you that they like your t-shirt when you’re out in public? It’s happened to me a time or two, but the other day I had someone say something to me about the shirt I was wearing and it didn’t register with me until a little later on. Her words, the words on my shirt and the fact that people take notice of me when I’m out in public was something I had to work through my mind to truly grasp the kind of impact I can make on others.
It was a typical family outing for our household. Grab the clan together and go get a bite to eat before heading off to the next place. Our family is usually on the go from one place to the next, so this was nothing new. We make a stop at Taco Bell for dinner, our boys go-to request when asked, and I am doing the typical mom thing of trying to corral my kids to where they need to be and encourage them to tell me what they want to eat. As one is trying to climb a trash can and the other is staring at the menu to see what he can try that’s new, I hear it.
“I like your shirt. There are a lot of people who need to read that.”
I look up to the woman at the register. When I realize she is talking to me I smile and nod, trying to make my mind piece together words to say something to her in response. All I managed to get out was a thank you as one child pulled on me and averted my attention. What did my shirt say you wonder?
Be a Nice Human.
That is it. It’s not a fancy t-shirt at all. Just a white shirt with nice black lettering on the front. It’s one of those shirts that I usually wear around the house or put on when I only have a few errands to run. I bought it a few years back thinking that was a good saying that I agreed with, but never thought anything more of it.
Be a nice human. After we got back home and I thought more about that interaction at the restaurant I started to really think about what the woman was saying. She didn’t know me, but something about me impacted her and made her feel confident to say something. I don’t know her situation but to her I was on the same page as she in wanting others to be nice. But, what really stuck out to me, is how desperately so many people in the world need to read that t-shirt too.
There are a lot of hurting people in this world. And hurting people hurt people. It’s our nature at times when we’re angry, feeling betrayed or even jealous. Instead of being thankful for what we have or happy for what someone else has we feel the need to judge, make faces or make comments behind glowing electronic screens. At times we think we are justified for saying something or feeling a certain way because others are deserving of our ridicule. Humans have always had a bad habit of not being nice.
The sad thing in all of this, is that God is not surprised. He knew we would fail at times to uplift others, or even more, to uplift ourselves (I am HORRIBLE at that). At times I wonder if God is shocked by what He sees. I know I have times where I am. But He isn’t shocked. He saw this coming. That is why He had it written about in His Word.
1 Corinthians 10:24
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
1 Timothy 6:18
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.
…rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure beings forth evil.
These are just a handful of verses that returned when I searched on the word “nice” in YouVersion. See, God knew we’d falter. He knew we’d need guidance on how to ‘turn the other cheek,’ as it were, when we might otherwise not want to. He gave us instruction on how to be a nice human.
Not many people will seek to serve and love like Jesus did. Some will try and mess up a time or two. Others will think it doesn’t apply to them. But for those of us who follow Christ, we always have the opportunity to be nice. To serve, love and pay it forward to others. We can be an example to a hurting world. After all, Jesus was an example to us. So….
Be a nice human.