We live in a world with a great lack of good men. We have many nice men, but we do not have many good men. Nice men fear the opinions of people more than anything. Nice men worry about what other people think most of all – they are driven by the approval of other people. Good men fear the Lord more than anything. Good men are concerned most of all with what God thinks – they are driven by the approval of God.
Nice men are ultimately arrogant men. Nice men think they can keep everyone around them happy by doing and saying the right things. But it’s impossible to live for the approval of people. You will either eventually settle into a hardened heart, jaded because you can’t please everyone. Or else the realization that you can’t please everyone will be increasingly painful and disappointing and turn a man toward dark thoughts and depression.
Nice men often serve idols in addition to the approval of people: these are created things that reassure, created things that give you some semblance of peace or pleasure – created things that soothe your mind and soul – other than the living God. Nice men turn to pornography. Nice men turn to food or drink. Nice men turn to diets and workout regimens. If you can’t keep everyone happy, at least you have… [fill in the blank]. Nice men play the victim, blaming others or their circumstances for their problems.
Jesus said that He came to set men free. Nice men are enslaved to fear of man, the approval of man, and the idols they clutch. Good men fear God alone and worship God alone, and therefore, they are free men, unafraid, courageous.
How do nice men become good men? They become aware of the greatness and glory of God. Good men humble themselves under God’s mighty hand and fear Him alone. Good men receive God’s justification for all their sins and failures through Christ by faith. And good men learn to take responsibility for themselves and those around them because Christ took responsibility for them.