Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Are we too nice?

I know, I know; it's counter-intuitive to ask whether we're too nice these days, given that "the bird" and harsh "Anglo-Saxon" invective is almost the rule in communication. But bear with me.

What I'm getting at is the tendency to "let things slide." Did the stereo we just bought fail suddenly? Do we return it for replacement or refund, or do we simply do without or buy a new one? Did a business colleague fail to honor a commitment? Again, do we note this, or do we just let it slide?

Now certainly "love covers a multitude of sins." That said, it covers them as people repent of them and make restitution where possible, not just as a matter of "letting it slide." In other words, those who sin against us (and we ourselves) are forgiven as the matter is brought up, not as it is shoved under the carpet.

There is a parallel bonus from the product quality side. The company that sold you the defective radio will never find out about their design errors if people simply ignore the matter. Your product return allows them to improve their product.


Shawn said...

...if your 'not returning' is done out of fear (and, of course, only you'd know that), then it's not even love that's motivating your actions, and so they're worthless. well...better, likely, than bombing the manufacturer. (oh my!!! i said "likely" there...does that mean i'm suggesting that someone bomb the manufacturer of faulty products??? AACK!!!! WE'RE ALL STUPID!! WE NEED NOT HAVE ANY HYPERBOLE OR LITERARY TOOLS!! EVERYTHING MUST BE DRY AND INNOCUOUS!!! hehehehehehe)

tim keller put it well...loving someone and forgiving someone does not mean allowing them to sin against you, especially repeatedly. loving them would likely mean confronting them about their error, out of concern for, at the very least, their attitude, if not for their soul. (reference lewis' quote here regarding how each day we are, to some degree or another, helping someone toward either their heavenly glorious self, or their dastardly hellish self...that will keep us from either being overly harsh in our correction, or overly passive in our laxity when responding to wrongs done us)

( an aside, though still related...i'd say that as a subculture we christians are WAY too nice...or, at least, we think that 'nice' and 'christian' are synonymous, and we end up with this pansy-ass jesus image...we end up thinking that if we were all just a bit nicer, then jesus would be happier with us--screw all that cross-carrying stuff *though we'd never say that, but it's the outworking of the passive attitude*.)

i've bumped up against this a LOT with some friends of mine, particularly females, who think that letting people walk all over them is the christian thing to do. of course, there are caveats to be mentioned here, but by and large, if you find yourself ALWAYS acting one way or another, you're not doing it out of conformance with the gospel (most likely) but because that's your natural temperament, and repentance for you would most likely look like the opposite.

/rant. :)

Bike Bubba said...

If Nick Coleman verbally assaults me because of that comment, Shawn, I'm coming after you. :^)

Anonymous said...

By letting someone stay in sin and NOT confronting them about it, is a lack of Christian love. If we love that person, and we know that they have sinned in some way, love will compel us to seek them out and try to bring about repentance.

And yes, by and large the Christian faith is expressed in a very feminine manner (i.e. "Promise Keepers")

We have to remember Christ is the Lamb of God ,yet he is also the lion of Judah.

Marklark said...

Reading his blog from the top down and admittedly, a bit late, I realized that BikeBubba set us up for his normal rant on the meaning of the word "nice." :^)

Bike Bubba said...

Not the meaning, just the etamology. :^)

Marklark said...

Oh, so I can still tell my children to "Be nice" if I _mean_ "Be kind and loving?"

Good to know! ;^)

Bike Bubba said...

...but is it that much harder than asking them to be kind? :^)