Goody Two Shoes

By Brianna Hines

I am just going to come out and say it. I was a goody two shoes growing up. I still am a little bit. I can’t help it! I like keeping people happy with me. I enjoy staying on their good side. I relish checking all the boxes and coloring in the lines so that people will like me and are, dare I admit it, impressed with me. It’s true, and I have been honing my skills in this area since grade school. I was that kid every teacher adored, every classmate got along with, and everyone who met me told my mother what a “sweet girl” I was. Everyone loved me. Everyone, that is, except my big sister. 

Listen as Brianna Hines shares today’s post.

My sister has always had a strong personality and even stronger opinions. She was the kid who every teacher remembered, for good or for bad, who every classmate had a healthy respect for, and the kind of kid who people would comment, “She is going to be a great leader someday.” That was always code for, “Ain’t nobody going to tell that kid what to do!” And all the moms of strong-willed children said, “Amen!” 

Nope, most of the time, my sister was none too keen on her annoyingly perfect little sister, and can you blame her? While she was standing up to unfair teachers, mostly from the principal’s office, I was getting glowing remarks on my report cards. While she challenged all the bullies in her class and landed herself even more time in the principal’s office, I won the read-a-thon and got a gift certificate to Toys-R-Us, may it rest in peace. 

It didn’t help my cause when my parents would be struggling to figure out what to do with their fiery little “leader” and say, “Why can’t you just be more like Brianna!?!” Now, to be fair, I don’t know if my parents ever actually said those words out loud, but we all knew they were thinking them. I was the daughter who made life easy for them, and Brittany was, well, Brittany. It’s no wonder she hated my guts sometimes. It’s no wonder I made her see red and yell, “Ooooooo! I just can’t stand you! Why do you keep making me look so bad!?!” All my brown-nosing perfection was throwing her under the bus.

We as Christians sometimes have this idea that if we are perfectly loving and perfectly Christian toward everyone around us the rest of the world will love us for it. How could they not? We haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, we are trying to do everything right! But that is not how the world works. Being perfectly loving isn’t going to get us a fan club; it’s going to get us crucified. 

As we read in First John this week, the only reason Cain killed his brother Abel way back in Genesis was because Abel was righteous. This has never fully computed for me. I always want to find some reason why Cain was driven to murder Abel. Maybe Abel was a super annoying goody two shoes like me and rubbed it in or something.  But no, it says here that Cain killed Abel simply because he couldn’t stand being around a righteous person. Abel was making Cain look bad. 

That is how the world feels about us. People can’t stand being around righteous people because it reveals their own sin. This makes sense when we go back to the metaphor of light. If someone is doing evil things in the dark, where they don’t want anyone to see, or maybe even admit to themselves that what they are doing is wrong, then they’re going to be pretty hostile toward someone who shines a light in their direction. Our very presence as authentic believers is a threat to the little dark world they have created. It is quite possible that the only thing you did to deserve the world’s hatred was try to act like Jesus.

Now, I am not trying to say that my sister is a cold-blooded Cain, or that I was a perfectly righteous Abel. Don’t worry, I had my fair share of vices. I was just better at hiding them than she was. However, there is a certain truth we need to accept as Christians: the world will hate us, and we shouldn’t be surprised by it. If we go our entire lives trying not to be hated, trying to keep the rest of the world happy with us, we will end up having to compromise the gospel or remain silent about it. That’s just how it is. 

The ironic part of this whole thing is that despite all this hatred from the world, the job of a Christian is to be loving in return. First Peter tells us that it means nothing when we suffer hardship for doing something wrong, but when we suffer in innocence, it is noble indeed. When we are loving in the face of evil and hatred, when we have done no wrongs to deserve it, it heaps burning coals on the heads of the wicked and gains us great rewards in heaven (1 Peter 2:18-20, 3:13-17). 

If someone is hating you right now, there might be no earthly way for you to change their mind. They might simply hate you because you are righteous. Now, obviously make sure you are not actually sinning against them or rubbing your righteousness in their face. That’s not going to get any good vibes rolling. But no matter how hated you feel, your response to them should be loving nonetheless. 

The Cains of this world will never cease in their hatred of righteousness. They will never stop being offended by the presence of God’s light. Jesus was offensive to people 2,000 years ago, and He still is today. So we must learn to live hated. We mustn’t be surprised by hate, but instead be ready for it. Expect the hate. Take the hate as a compliment even! It means you are walking in the light enough to actually be noticed in the darkness, and that is noble indeed.

Editor’s Note: Join UFC Women today at 9:30 a.m. at Barn (or on Zoom) or at 6:30 p.m. in the church offices for our study of First John. The cost for the study guide is $15. Childcare will be provided for the morning study. If you are interested in joining the Zoom group, please contact Jamie Harms at