Author: Melinda McCredie
“You’re too nice”. This is something that has been spoken over me my whole life. And while the words themselves may seem rather innocuous; complimentary even; I am starting to realise the powerful negative impact that such a label can have on a person over time. On me.
Sometimes I wonder what it even means to be too nice. People can dismiss my opinions very quickly, because in their minds “nice” translates to an inability to be sincere. I can admit that I’m not a confrontational person, and I will always temper anything negative with something positive. But this doesn’t mean that I lack the ability to give honest, thoughtful feedback.
Recently I completed some study in the area of leadership and management, and I realised how I had been living up to my label of “too nice”. I was so accustomed to being unnoticed in a discussion that I rarely participated anymore. My confidence was at an all-time low and my silence had become comfortable. This was not good!
I often felt bullied into making decisions, and God began to reveal to me just how much other people’s perceptions of me dictated my actions. I realised how my silence was reinforcing the myth that I was “too nice” to have anything valuable to offer. There were actually very few people in my life who knew the real me.
Many of us struggle to get out from underneath the labels forced upon us. Whether they came from our families, or were imposed on us at school, most of us will carry them well into adulthood. We wear them with a certain sense of pride, and if we aren’t careful, can let them define who we are.
I had never really thought that being labelled too nice was a bad thing, but I’ve come to understand that it has the potential to limit my ability to become everything God made me to be. Every label does, whether it’s positive or negative, and whether it’s true or not.
God did not give me a spirit of fear and timidity, but people did. And the crazy thing is, I embraced it! After so many years of having it spoken over me, I began to believe it. Being labelled had caused me to lose something of myself. To some extent, it allowed my actions to be controlled by others.
Through the experiences of study and ministry, God has been showing me how to embrace who I really am. I am NOT too nice! There is no such thing as too nice, or too “anything” for that matter! I am exactly the right amount of nice that God created me to be!
A good friend reminded me of that recently. And it’s true. We are created uniquely by God to do the work He prepared for us to do. My personality and the gifts He’s given me allow me to be effective in what I’ve been called to. That is true for every single one of us.
My life is not about what other people think of me, it’s about who God created me to be. I don’t have to correct all the misconceptions, but I do have to work in partnership with God to be the best that I can be for Him. Which means finding my voice at the right time and in the right season.
I haven’t perfected that yet, and I doubt I ever will. But with enough prayer and trust, all things are possible with God, even this!
2 Timothy 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
About the Author – Melinda McCredie
Melinda’s desire is to connect with all women, no matter what their background or story.
She lives in Brisbane, Queensland with her husband and two children, and has been in ministry since 2005.
Melinda recently completed her studies in a Graduate Certificate of Management and is working her way towards a Masters Degree within the literary realm.
She writes from her own personal journey, and through her faith in God hopes to inspire women to be honest about their experiences and allow Him to work in their lives.
For more of Melinda’s blogs, visit her website thedevotedlife.com