Everybody wants to be a good person, and in our culture, that means being nice. This vaguely-defined concept seems to have replaced virtue in most people's minds. It's behind a lot of today's fashionable humanitarianism, and doubtless has helped raise money for some good causes.
But "niceness" has also become a refusal to take any stand against immorality. At a conference I spoke at recently, a top FBI investigator into human trafficking said that the Church's addition to "being nice" was enabling great evils like sex slavery to flourish. He said Christians are called to a higher standard: to love—self-sacrificing love that seeks the good of other even at personal cost.
Love won't always win us friends, but it is what Christ showed, and includes standing up for moral standards, even if that means telling others they're wrong—because they're valuable. When niceness and love come into conflict, Christians need the virtue of courage to choose the virtue of love. For ThePointRadio.org, I'm John Stonestreet.