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96 pages
Dec 2005

Nice Girls Don't Change the World

by Lynne Hybels

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Chapter One

I want to tell you about someone I used to know very well.

She was a nice girl: obedient, polite, socially acceptable. A bit too reticent, some might say, but so very pleasing, nonetheless. A really nice girl.

Oh yes, her gaze seemed empty at times and her words sometimes rang, well, not false really, but perhaps a bit flat.

Okay, I sometimes had the feeling she was just going through the motions of life, but they were such nice motions. Everybody liked her.

She had an uncanny ability to keep almost everybody happy almost all the time, though she didnít truly seem to be very happy herself. But I could be wrong; she was always smiling. I donít know that I ever heard her laughóand no one ever accused her of being wildly in love with lifeóbut she had such a nice smile.

She was a very caring person, though in a passive sort of way. She was not the type to turn the world upside down.

Still, she was a very nice girl.

What I mean to say, as you might have guessed, is that I was a very nice girl.

A nice girl. Thereís nothing wrong with being a nice girl, especially when you consider the alternatives:

A naughty girl?

A mean girl?

A bad girl?

Who wants to be like that? I didnít.

I really didnít.

What I wanted was to be a godly girl. From the time I became a Christian at age seven, I wanted to please God, and I took that desire very seriously.

I grew up in the 1950s and Ď60s in a small Michigan town, where I attended a church that was a fine church in many ways. But the preaching during my most impressionable years was pretty much hellfire and brimstone. I heard a lot about sin and punishment, guilt and shame.