Many times I find that we live in a “top dog” world where kindness is equated with weakness. We live in a time when women are determined to show their strength, their position, their independence. It’s clear that this world associates dominance and aggressiveness with power. Yet what happens when you’re not a bold and aggressive woman? Does it make you any less of a person?
Being the “nice girl” has its challenges. You’ve likely been the target of bullying. You’ve been treated in ways you would never treat another human being. You’ve probably stayed in a bad relationship longer than you should have. Your kindness is not always returned; in fact, it’s probably been trampled on without a care. You tend to be on the vulnerable end of the stick because you give people the benefit of the doubt. At some point, the lines between selflessness and worthlessness may have been blurred.
From one “nice girl” to another, I want to encourage you today. You are not a victim. Your grace, your selflessness and your gentleness are beautiful assets that you should embrace. You should shine through them and never let the world mold you to be something you’re not. In fact, these qualities are pleasing to God (1 Peter 3:4). They are a refreshing gift to a world suffocated by selfish ambition.
A kind heart takes courage. It takes strength. But it also takes balance because we are called to guard our hearts. While this may sound like a blessing and a curse, I want to share five truths I’ve navigated within the beauty of being kind and strong.
1. The light in your heart is a radiating beauty. As I get older, I find the beauty of the soul so much more captivating than faces. When a woman is genuine, and she has a pure connection with you without motive or judgment, she moves your heart. A woman who uplifts others and is generous with her words is a beautiful woman. She is a treasure and a breath of fresh air to your life. A kind heart radiates in a cold world. It is that light of the world, sitting upon a hill that Jesus talked about in Matthew 5:14. So who cares if you’re “too nice”? Your radical kindness is a shift in the atmosphere that is needed in this world.
2. It’s okay to set healthy boundaries. You can be nice andset boundaries for yourself. Remember we are also called to guard our hearts because our life flows from this. You show people how you ought to be treated—and sister, you deserve to be treated with the utmost honor and respect. You may be selfless, but you are NOT worthless. It’s okay to let someone overstepping your boundaries know “It’s not okay for you to talk to me this way” or “I love you, but I will not tolerate (insert toxic behavior).” This doesn’t make you mean or rude; sometimes when a person doesn’t care about you, you have to make the decision to care about yourself. Why? Because you matter. The more you practice setting boundaries, the more naturally it will come to you.
3. It takes much more strength and discipline to be kind. Choosing humility and kindness in the face of rudeness or aggression takes much more strength. Essentially you are exercising self-control instead of just being reactive, which takes nothing at all. By being the “bigger person,” you are proving yourself stronger, wiser and much more mature. It may feel like it’s not getting you anywhere in the moment, but these are honorable characteristics of integrity that will carry you in the long run.
4. You will touch the souls of people. Being a safe place for people opens the door to so many hearts. People may open up to you in ways they never have before, simply because you are safe and you are embracing. Don’t overlook this, because it’s a beautiful quality to have. God will use this aspect of your personality to reach the souls of others.
5. Continue to take your battles to the Lord. So you don’t fight every battle up in arms. Does that make you “too nice”? Well, not every battle is ours. Sometimes there’s a time to speak up, and other times it just needs to be taken to the Lord. Not only does this build your internal strength, but also your faith and dependency on Him to move in ways that you cannot. A submitted Spirit is a beautiful virtue to have. I want to encourage you to continue to take your battle to the Lord because He will fight for you (Exodus 14:14)! This is nothing to look down upon.
So being “too nice” may seem to have its downfalls, but I believe the woman who navigates her kindness with balance will go far. Never regret who you are or let life’s experiences make you cold. God made you the way that you are for a reason, and you should confidently embrace that. It will resonate with the plans He has for you and those he has called you to.