Be nicer than necessary

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Often in my quests to do good, I fail.

My friend’s mom has been in poor health since spring, going back and forth to the hospital and doctors’ offices.

Because I remember how difficult it was taking my own mother to the doctor—even with my sisters or brother—I offered to meet Julie at her mom’s appointment to help.

But while I waited at one door to the Heart Center, they came through another. And after the appointment, Julie and I together still couldn’t get her mom back in the car.

I had been no help after all. We needed more.

I walked back inside to get more. I hesitantly explained our dilemma to the lady at the Information Desk, expecting a little advice, at best.

Instead, the receptionist hopped up and walked outside with me. Before I knew it, she had Julie’s mom loaded and buckled into the front seat of the car, without any assistance from me or Julie.

She then spoke healing words into Julie’s mom. She said to hang in there. To keep fighting. To resist the urge to sit back and let bad health get the best of you.

After she closed the passenger door, Julie and I thanked her for both her physical help as well as her attitude. Both were valuable.

She then gave us one more thing.

She said her mother taught her this:

There are two kinds of people you’ll remember in this world: those who are mean to you and those who are nice. Since you never know where you’re going to find yourself, you better be nice to everyone. None of us are getting younger; we all need encouragement. As long as we’ve got breath in us, we’re still in the game.

Then she went back inside.

But her words linger with me still.

Most of us have room to be a little nicer to everyone we meet. If we’re still here, still breathing, we still have opportunities to show God’s love.

I’m thankful the receptionist gave the gift of encouragement to us when the gift I showed up to give didn’t work out. Maybe I was there that day so I could receive her gift to pass along to others.

So if you can be nicer today, do. Give away the gifts you have.

You’re still in the game.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4:10

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19 thoughts on “Be nicer than necessary

  1. Dianna

    What a beautiful post, Lisa. It brought tears to my eyes…memories of being in charge of getting my mother-in-law to the doctor appointments and such. What a gift the receptionist gave both to your friend’s mother and to you and your friend. Hugs to you, Lisa, for sharing.

  2. floyd

    I love those type of people… It makes me realize what a heel I am more than I should be, but it still encourages and reminds me that this is what we are called to be and do. Good Samaritans… Thanks for the reminder… I’m gonna be nice to strangers today… and hopefully from now on…

  3. Mia

    Hi Lisa
    What I do to ask our Pappa to fill me with His love for everyone I encounter everyday which is not many due to being mostly homebound, for I know that being left to my own devices, I will not be able to. Sometimes we are the victims of other people’s unkindness and then I do the same so that I will be able to pray for them for we don’t know what they are going through.
    Blessings XX

  4. bluecottonmemory

    Sometimes, we don’t see the effects of our help. I think something grows when we do – even if it doesn’t work right – and maybe God knew that message needed to be released. Sometimes it is blessing to be able to pass it on – and you allowed the lady the opportunity to pass it on. And, then, you passed it on to us – what. a. blessing. That’s how they’re supposed to work! I love this – and, for some reason, even more today! I’ll be sure to pass it on!

  5. Beth

    And what a huge blessing she was to you for that simple, “nice” gesture, Lisa. We underestimate the power and impact of those small, kind acts. Thanks for the reminder. It will stay with me too!

  6. Brenda Maddox

    Such a wonderful truth. My mom’s back was broken because of the cancer. One time she felt so bad she couldn’t take radiation. A nurse stood out in the parking lot on a hot summer day to mark her back with markers to make it easy for her the next time. Another time one nurse changed shifts because she knew just how to lift her on the table so it wouldn’t be as painful. Three years later and I remember those nurses.

  7. Dawn St Amand Paoletta

    Oh, yes! I always say point that pout to my own daughter as we are out and about. We never know what our words will mean in another’s life. Poignant and true- what a great living lesson. I love when God uses others in my day to teach me to pay attention.

  8. Laura

    Wow, that is a piece of wisdom, isn’t it? And true. I want to be remembered for my niceness. And you know what, Lisa? I bet you were a great help to your friend–just being there. You have such a giving heart.

  9. Joanne Viola

    This is such a beautiful post! I want to remember that always – be a little bit nicer. We truly never know what that little bit more can mean to a person. I am sure your company did much more for your friend than you could ever realize. Thanks for sharing this today. I visited from Soli Deo Gloria this morning.

  10. tcavey

    Amen! This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered trying to get my dad into the car after his brain biopsy. We had to tape the door shut so he wouldn’t try opening it as we drove. It was horrible. but I remember those who were so nice during those hard times.

    It’s encouraging to hear that there are still so many people out there willing to help others.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. PL

    Very good post. It’s always worth spreading the right vibe. Just a little birdsong can make an essential difference.

    Moving people takes a special skill I think. I remember I found a wheelchair-bound man in the street, toppled over on his way to the pub. I couldn’t shift him at all (he was quite cheerful about it). A friend of his turned up and had him back in the chair in a trice.

    > She then spoke healing words into Julie’s mom.

    Is “into” normal American English there? Sounds rather strange to a Brit.

    1. Lisa notes...

      My husband think my use of “into” must be ‘female’ American English because he doesn’t use it that way either. I’m trying to imagine what “in a trice” and “just a little birdsong” mean. 🙂

  12. Barbara H.

    Such a neat story. I’ve always admired those people who seem to just jump in with the right thing to do and say while I am hemming and hawing and uncertain and hesitant. May I be more willing to “jump in” and more trusting in Him for the right words and actions.

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