Don’t substitute niceness for godliness


Don’t you want to be a better person?

Not really.

What about a nicer one?


There’s nothing wrong with niceness—it’s just I’d rather be godly.

C.S. Lewis explains it well:

“Niceness”—wholesome, integrated personality—is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up “nice”; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save. (Mere Christianity, Kindle location 2642)

Niceness isn’t a bad thing; as Lewis says, it’s an “excellent thing.” But being a nice person is a poor substitute for being a godly one.

If I had to choose between the two, I’ll choose the latter every time.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books including the Big Truths Bible Storybook, Epic Devotions, Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, and Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. His next book, published by Lexham Press, will release in Spring 2023.

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One Reply to “Don’t substitute niceness for godliness”

  1. “Nice” isn’t necessarily a biblical virtue, but kindness, humility, gentleness and compassion? Now those are. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be kind, gentle, forbearing and patient. And most people when faced with the aforementioned virtues will call that person “nice.” So we really don’t have to choose between the two.

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