I'm also very slow, never catching on that I did in fact hurt some one with my forceful words until much later. Like hours later, after they have forgotten and moved on from the conversation. That is when it hits me... I feel squirmy for a reason and I must've been too wordy about some trivial matter and that everyone would have been happier had I just shut up.
And then, the other side of me abhors niceness. Being nice isn't always kind. A person can be ever so nice but as mean as an old snake. And saying nice words and doing nice things are NOTHING if there is not a heart of kindness behind them. Being nice tends toward fake. Kindness from the heart has to be genuine, otherwise its just fake niceness.
So...how to get it right?
I think at the bottom of this heart struggle is "the fear of man". I think we get the desire to please God and the pull to be approved by man mixed up. We want to get along with our people, but we all have some sort of environment in which we are muddled up with other humans. Rubbing shoulders with co workers create automatic dilemmas that one is required to help come to workable solutions.
So when an idea is presented, if you don't like it or see something negative about it, do you say so or do you do the nice thing and mum up? Which way is the most profitable way? And is it right to share what I think I see just because I see it? Since when did I get to think so much of myself?
I admit, I error on the side of blunt honesty, so as not to be nice and fake. But is that any excuse? I come back to the thought of doing the thing and saying the words that I am sure Jesus can back.
And this verse about the fear of man...
Ye shall not respect persons in judgement; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgement is God's and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. Deut. 1:17
I know this verse was instructions Moses gave on how to care for his people, but I love to think this method could be our measure of how we deal with others as well. And if something is too hard for us we get to take it to God. God knows the best way to deal with any problem. If I believe it, fear of man will have to go.
And then I can be kind and forget niceness.
How does this balance work out for you?
Do you prefer nice people?