Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More

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"This book is challenging me and helping me to discover a truer way to live authentically free. Sharon is a refreshing voice full of truth and wisdom."--Lysa TerKeurst, #1 New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries


God never called us to be nice.
Niceness. It keeps the peace, wins friends, gains influence, and serves our reputations well. It looks a lot like following Jesus, but it takes all the power and freedom out of our lives. In this eye-opening book, Sharon Hodde Miller shares her own battle with this false faith, confesses the bad fruit it produced in her life, and offers practical steps for cutting down the tree at its root.
With biblical wisdom, surprising insight, and deep conviction, this book will help you
· identify the most common forms of nice Christianity and how they manifest in your life
· stop being nice and start practicing true kindness, honesty, courage, and joy
· develop a deeper, sturdier faith that can withstand life's storms and even flourish in the middle of them

Take a stand, take back your faith, and follow the Savior who was kind, gentle, compassionate, patient, and good, but never simply nice.

Sharon Hodde Miller leads Bright City Church in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Ike. In addition to speaking all over the country and earning her PhD, she is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It's Not about You. Sharon is a regular contributor to sites like She Reads Truth, Propel, and Christianity Today, and she has blogged at for over ten years. When she is not leading, teaching, or writing, her favorite place to be is at home with her husband and three kids.


"We often think about breaking free from bad habits, past hurts, or negative patterns, but what if the reason we sometimes feel hollow and stuck is because of a subtle but deceptive addiction to 'nice'--acting like we should so we can get what we want. Sharon Hodde Miller's book Nice is challenging me and helping me to discover a truer way to live authentically free. Sharon is a refreshing voice full of truth and wisdom."

Lysa TerKeurst, #1 New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

"As a leader and teacher who prized 'niceness,' I'm shocked by the truth uncovered in Nice. It's simple--but true--and completely profound. Niceness has trumped honesty and crept into pulpits, cubicles, and friendships, disguised as a fruit of the Spirit. Sharon bravely prunes and removes the faux virtue and pushes us to bear real fruit."

Bianca Juarez Olthoff, pastor, teacher, and best-selling author of Play With Fire

"'God did not call you to be nice.' Starting with this powerful truth, Sharon unpacks the false idols of our day with humility and passion. She shares how to discern truth and never be locked into the prison of 'nice' again."

Alli Worthington, author of Fierce Faith and Founder of The Blissdom Conference

"Our culture is desperate for Jesus's love--his kindness, his compassion, his cross--but we fool ourselves if we think we can replace gospel sacrifice with bland niceness. In these pages, Sharon calls out the spiritual impotence of 'nice Christianity' and invites us into a faith that honors Christ and matters to others. This message is as timely and urgent as ever, which is why I highly recommend this book!"

Dr. Derwin L. Gray, lead pastor of Transformation Church and author of Limitless Life: You're More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future

"I'm passionate about walking in the tension of truth and love, but it's not always easy. Will I choose courage or compromise? Conviction or cliché? Sometimes I slide into the latter easier than I think, all for the sake of being liked. Sharon's new book, Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More, will challenge you to the core to rise up and walk in godly conviction, step into hard conversations, and test the fruit of your life. This book will give you the opportunity to bear rich, authentic, life-giving fruit that lasts."

Andi Andrew, author, speaker, pastor, and founder of She is Free

"There is a spirit of venom in our culture today that makes agreeable Christianity seem appealing and benign. Sharon has experienced this temptation in her own life, and she exposes the empty discipleship produced by a faith whose greatest ambition is to be 'nice.' At a time when Christians swing between hair-trigger outrage and shallow likability, this is a vision we need."

Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair, Wheaton College

"As I read Sharon Hodde Miller's new book, Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More, I had two recurring thoughts. The first was--Oh, my toes--because Sharon lovingly and convincingly calls out the excuses and the lies that can lurk behind our niceness. The second thought, however, was--Get it, Sharon Hodde Miller!--because her words challenge and convict but also call us to be higher and better in our motives, our actions, and our relationships. Beautifully written, thoughtfully structured, and theologically sound, Nice will inspire personal reflection and corporate encouragement as we read and ask the Lord to help us be who we say we are and who he calls us to be."

Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up, Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast

"The title of this book, Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More, may evoke feelings of soft, sweet Christian living, but author Sharon Hodde Miller tackles the topic of motivation and acceptance with scholarly depth and substance. Sharon skillfully guides readers to understand how our emphasis on being 'nice' misses God's greater purposes of spiritual maturity and genuine transformation. Challenging and needed during this age of polarization in our nation and shallow social media soundbites, I am grateful for Sharon's example, heart, and timely message found in the pages of this book."

Vivian Mabuni, speaker and author of Open Hands, Willing Heart: Discover the Joy of Saying Yes to God

"As an outspoken, justice-driven woman who has struggled with the word nice my whole life, I needed to read this book. Sharon Hodde Miller not only helped me wisely sort through the truth about my struggles, but she also reminded me of my gospel responsibility to choose Jesus over myself. I find Nice a must-read for every believer maneuvering the difficult road of human opinion--I dare say, a struggle for us all."

Lisa Whittle, author of 5 Word Prayers and I Want God; Bible teacher; podcast host of Jesus Over Everything

"The soul-crushing desire to be liked and accepted can manifest itself in many ways. For Sharon Hodde Miller, it was through an idol we won't likely consider on our own--the idol of niceness. In her book Nice, Miller turns our accepted notions of niceness on their heads, challenging us to think of a better, more biblical way to engage the world and others and root out sin that keeps us from true and honest virtues. God can turn our niceness and self-focus to a grace-filled love for others, and I believe this book is a helpful tool he could use along the journey."

Trillia Newbell, author of If God Is For Us, Fear and Faith, and God's Very Good Idea

"Sharon is the ideal person from whom to learn to let go of the need to be liked. I've watched her over the years and have longed to know her secrets. Sharon possesses the ability to be kind but rejects the temptation to stop at being 'nice.' She is a fierce voice for truth. When we let go of being liked, we grow in the unique way God made us, the passions he put in our hearts and, most of all, the integrity he instilled in us. I'm grateful to have Sharon as an example and a teacher."

Hayley Morgan, author of Preach to Yourself and coauthor of Wild and Free

The Author

  1. Sharon Hodde Miller

    Sharon Hodde Miller

    Sharon Hodde Miller, PhD, is teaching pastor at Bright City Church in Durham, North Carolina, which she cofounded with her husband, Ike. The author of Free of Me and Nice, Miller has blogged at for over ten years, has been a...

    Continue reading about Sharon Hodde Miller