The other day I was driving and came to an intersection. There are two stop signs here and the other road is allowed to go straight through without stopping. We've all seen these many times.
But here's where it got interesting. Someone who had the right of way and no stop sign felt like being polite and stopping so the person with a stop sign could go. The person with the stop sign didn't know what to do. So they paused. This caused the car behind the nice driver to take the initiative and go when no one else would, which caused the driver who paused to jut out then pause again and the nice person to sit completely still because now they had cars passing them. And I'm in the back of the log jam waiting to go.
Sometime we mistake nice for right. The "nice" thing to do is always the "right" thing to do, isn't it? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", that's the goal, right?
Maybe there are times when being polite is wrong, or even when the right thing seems impolite. The right thing in this situation was for the driver without a stop sign to keep going. Nothing bad would have happened if they had just done what they were supposed to do. How many times do we get these things confused? What's "nice" and what's "right"?
Jesus wasn't very nice. It goes against what most people think of Him (in a study a few years ago almost 75% of teenagers interviewed described Jesus as "nice") but He really wasn't. Jesus was more concerned with someone's growth, their soul, the real right and wrong in a situation than being nice. He would throw tables, take people into life threatening situations, even call one of His best friends "satan".
Maybe sometimes we should worry less about being nice, especially at the expense of doing what is actually right...