Saturday, February 23, 2013

When Being Nice Puts You Last





I’m what you would call a “nice” person. I often don’t say what I really think (if it’s negative) out of kindness for a relationship. Or – because I hate conflict.  I like to be polite.

Some people might think that just because you are “nice” that means they can take you for granted. They may not even realize this is their thought process, but they fully grab onto a nice person and use their kindness to their advantage.

For instance, I’ve been taken for granted many times. I’ve been overlooked. Put last. Not prioritized.  I’m not stupid. I’ve fully been aware how others have treated and used me to their own advantage. I understand that other people might use my kind heart to benefit them. They think that I won’t have ruffled feathers or I won’t mind a change in circumstances. That I will forgive easily.  Some of these are true. Others, not so much.

What people need to understand about kind people is that they DO care.  They DO notice. And they DO hurt. They just choose to take the high road in whatever situation they’ve been neglected or used in.  They choose to pray about it instead of causing conflict. They choose to believe in the other person hoping that at some point they WILL be chosen first. They WILL be valued and that they WILL be considered as people with their own time schedules, commitments, and feelings.

I’ve been robbed of things that could have been very special and precious. What’s done is done. I can never go back and have those times and situations restored to me. They are gone because of someone else’s careless or selfish choices.  But I can continue to value being kind, gentle, and loving. I can pray that God will work in their heart to help them become more considerate, generous, and selfless – and to work in mine to help me not grow bitter and resentful. (Because it’s easy to do.)

Kind people are taken for granted all of the time. They are taken advantage of. It does not mean they are passive. It simply means they value having character. And in private, they may hurt deeply over what has been done or not done to them. And as time goes on, they may give you less of their heart because of the damage that has been done.

If you are a kind person as I am, I’d like to encourage you today. Don’t give up. Don’t abandon your generous and loving heart. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep hoping for change. But in the process, set up some boundaries so that your heart doesn’t get crushed quite so easily. Take rebuilding and repairing relationships slowly and wait for that other person or persons to show you they’ve truly changed and that they understand your position and heart.  In the meantime, lavish and love with abandon on those who DO truly value your input into their lives.

Nice people do come in last sometimes. But it’s not because we are doormats. It’s simply because we choose to let God be GOD and address someone else’s behavior instead of us. 

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