Last night, I was really troubled by the amount of negativity and posts that encourage negativity and hate on my Facebook news feed. One post in particular really saddened me, it said “The nicer you are, the easier you get hurt, so just be an a–hole.” Oh, my heart was sad to see this.
Yes, you may be hurt by being nice – but doesn’t that beat out being the bad person hurting others? I think so. I would rather be apologized to, then be the one apologizing (oh there’s my niceness kicking in.) I would rather be free to chose to forgive someone else than to know people spent time loathing me, resenting me, or struggling because of me.
I teach my children when we go somewhere, to try and be the type of people that after our exit, others say “Wow, I’m so glad they came. It was so nice to have them here.” I want people to feel that way about me – I want to be seen as a helper, an encourager, a friend, a giver, a hugger, and someone others are happy to be around. We need to stay eternity minded and stop thinking in this moment. One day I am going to die, and all that remains of me here on earth will be the legacy I have left. It is my sincere hope, that at my funeral, people will say things like “She was so lovely. My life is better because she was in it. When I picture her face, I see a big smile.” In this temporary moment, it may seem easy or fair to chose hate. Maybe you were seriously hurt, maybe you haven’t had the niceness you have given offered back to you, but don’t let that allow you to follow the world’s advice. Don’t let the world decide your legacy.
In these times of social media, there is a footprint left behind when someone passes away. What if tomorrow you passed away, and the last post you made said “The nicer you are, the easier you get hurt, so just be an a–hole.” People would be looking at your page as I know I have done after losing someone, relishing in their final words. What a disappointing last message to leave to others, one to discourage kindness.
This morning, as I was spending time reading my Bible, I was reading the story in 2 Chronicles of Jehoram, who was an evil King over Judah long before Jesus’ time. Jehoram came into Kingship after his father, Jehosophat, passed away. After becoming King, he murdered his brothers and took advice from evil friends and even married the daughter of an other evil King. When Jehoram passed away, 2 Chronicles 21:20 tells us, “Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.” (NLT) No one was sorry when he died. Can you imagine? By all means, I want the lives of those I leave behind to carry on in my absence, but I sure hope that I’m a good enough person living that people will be sorry to hear of my passing.
Don’t be a Jehoram. Be a person whom others love and admire. Spread joy in this dark world. Be a nice person, even if it means you may get hurt. Be forgiving. But whatever you do, don’t be a Jehoram.
I’ll leave you with these final words I also happened to read this morning, from Proverbs.
“Wickedness never brings stability, but the Godly have deep roots.” Proverbs 12:3
“The wicked die and disappear, but the words of the Godly save lives.” Proverbs 12:7
“A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised.” Provers 12:8