A lot of people think that in order to be Christian or Catholic, we have to be nice.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we do need to be loving. We do need to be kind and compassionate. It’s even a good thing to be friendly. And we do need to be all of those things to everyone: enemies and friends alike.
The problem with the word “nice” is that it comes with some undesirable connotations. For some, to be nice means to be a push over. It means to never call anyone out. It means to agree with everything being said. It means that a successful day is making no one upset or angry.
If that is our standard of excellence, we will find it difficult to be the kind of Catholic Jesus is calling us too.
Let me be the first to say, I really struggle with this. I hate when people are mad at me. I hate when I disappoint other people. But recently, I have been put into some situations that have tested the priorities that I hold as most important.
What do I value more: making people happy or making God happy? I think it may be as simple as that.
If it’s the later, we have to fight for it. There are going to be times that we won’t make other people happy. There are going to be times that we are put in uncomfortable situations. There are going to be times where we’d rather just be the nice Catholic who doesn’t make any waves. In all of those cases, we need to fight on.
I firmly believe that nice Catholics never changed the world. Nice Catholics never made God famous in new ways. Nice Catholics never accomplished the mission that was put in our hearts.
At the end of my life, I want to say, like Timothy:
“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7
There is no better feeling than hitting the pillow after a long day and knowing I gave the day my all. I want to collapse into heaven feeling the exact same way.
There is a fantastic song by my favorite band (Hillsong United) called “Love is War.” Take a look at these lyrics:
I will fight to follow
I will fight for love
Throw my life forever
To the triumph of the Son
I want to shape my relationship with God around words like these. Sure, it means we will have to fight for our faith sometimes. Sure it means we won’t always be nice. Sure it means that situations may be difficult. But is there any mission that is more worth it?