Nice

March 6, 2013
by Pat Bell

Twice in one month, I was aware of being called "nice". Both situations arose as unexpected challenges. The other people involved had a reasonable expectation that I could be impatient and disparaging. Instead, I applied Christ's Golden Rule:

Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV)

At first, I didn't think "nice" was much of a compliment. Then I asked in prayer what it could mean, and this acronym came to mind: Now In Christ's Employ.

A week or two before facing those unexpected challenges, I had studied the third chapter of Colossians. Here are some relevant verses:

Colossians 3:10,11b,12,14,17,23,24 – Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)

From now on, if someone calls me "nice", I will translate it to mean "Now In Christ's Employ" and take it as encouragement and an opportunity to give thanks to God our Father. Prior to the time in my life when I took Christ seriously, I can't think of anyone who would have called me "nice".

What I am learning as a follower of Christ is that just as I must get dressed every day, I must ask the Father daily to clothe me in His virtues and give me wisdom so that I can view situations more as He sees them. Wisdom lets me understand what He wants me to say and do. I have also learned that obeying Christ's Golden Rule first requires daily appreciation of the awesome, gracious loving He has already lavished on me.

As we prepare to work for the Lord today, let's remember our work clothes. Our dress code is compassion like pants, kindness as a shirt, humility represented by a hat, gentleness characterized by gloves, patience symbolized by a wrist watch, and our entire uniform covered by an overcoat of love.

Prayer: Father, please enable us to demonstrate with all our hearts Your powerful love in word and in deed. We ask this in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

About the author:

Pat Bell <llebpat@gmail.com>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good reminder Pat.


    Very helpful imagery, Pat. Thank you.


    Another good one, Pat. I like the acronym.


    Pat, Well put. Loved the analogy. Thanks. Blessings.


    Pat, this is very good and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you and please share again soon. May God continue to bless you.


    This will be a wonderful Children’s Sermon on our chancel steps! I envision using a large soft bear and some baby clothing. Thank you!


    Pat thank you so much for your devotional today. I am a sole caregiver and your words spoke to me in a strengthening way.
    God Bless and keep writing.


    Dear Pat,
    nice thought!
    (England)


    Dear Pat,
    I printed today’s devotional to put in my bedroom where I put on my clothing.
    Thanks.
    Keep writing.


    Thanks Pat,
    I particularly liked the acronym for nice and the long Quote from Col 3.
    Keep writing.
    Blessings.


    Pat what a terrific message, how appropriate for us to use in these “hurried” days. We need to show others who we are and whose we are through our loving actions in our daily lives.
    Thanks again,
    (TX USA)


    Dear Pat:
    Thank you for a most excellent “wardrobe” of the Christian values that we should wear and practice each day. It is really good and the perfect guide to the virtues to pray for at the start of each day and each time we deal with others.
    Grace and peace.


    Dear Pat,
    Thank you for crafting a beautiful message. You are a gifted writer.
    I shall forevermore remember NICE as Now in Christ’s Employ.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts and perspective with the subscribers of the Presbyterian Daily devotional today. Please continue to do so!


    THANK YOU for an important message for me to memorize!! I will have to keep your message in mind over the next couple of weeks. Our church has a “kitchen boss” who thinks she is the only one that knows how to do things in a kitchen. And of course several of us are learning to keep our mouths shut and walk out into the other parts of the church!!!! I will try to be NICE!!! Thank you.


    Pat: Thank you. We need to hold up your prayer, to God, every day, and with passion.


    Good afternoon Pat:
    Growing up in Cape Breton and being told you were nice was indeed one of the best compliments one could ever wish to have received when I was a gal. Being referred to as a A NICE PERSON often referred to you as being a kind, socially and conversationally correct, pleasant and pleasing person who indeed “did on to others as you would have them do unto you.” The very idea folks thought you were of that caliber sure made you feel accepted and appreciated and caused one to work harder than ever to prove they were indeed a NICE PERSON and really wanted to represent your Lord in that manner.
    However with the new words, like awesome, cool, fantastic and so on, Nice seems to have slid to the bottom of the ladder as far as compliments are concerned in the new lingo.
    I know our Lord was a nice person. He was kind, gentle, compassionate and very fair. I think about how very kind and gentle He was to the thief on the cross that sad a bitter day when He assured him, because of his acknowledging Christ as God’s son, he would be with Christ in paradise that day. Our Lord could easily have turned His head the other way and not thought of the person next to Him, but no, our Lord remembered the thief on the Cross.
    This was a great message. Put my mind in motion realizing how very NICE our Lord really was, there are so many instances that confirm it.


    I think I will choose to be called N.I.C.E too!! Great!

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