Book cover: No More Christian Nice Girl

No More Christian Nice Girl

When Just Being Nice--instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends

Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D. Degler, PhD

My favorite chapter in this book is Chapter 4: “Nice vs. Good: How Does God Prefer His Women?” In this chapter, the authors profile several women from the Bible and a few from the modern era, showing their effectiveness came, not from “being nice,” but from doing what was right.

Making niceness our priority can lead to frustration and failure in relationships, employment and even as a Christian. This book gives some insights into how to exchange “niceness” for a genuine life in Christ. Clinical psychologist and life coach, Jennifer D. Degler, advises: “If you want amazing changes in your life, here’s our [she and her co-author Paul Coughlin, author of No More Christian Nice Guy and other books] straightforward message: a lot of what people call nice behavior is really fear, cowardice, and even sin in disguise. Many women are nice not because they truly care about other people, but because they fear conflict and rejection. That’s not peacemaking. That’s peace-faking….far too many women are not being transformed into the true image of Christ, and not living like the heroic women of faith in the Bible. Instead, they have become hamster-wheel women of immense frustration, burnout, and depression with lives that lack purpose and integrity.”

The Introduction includes a self-test which “will help you identify if the CNG problem is infecting your life.” Most of us, though, know whether or not we make choices based on fear of conflict and rejection rather than on what is the right thing to do.

This book shows how some of the misconceptions we have about Christ can lead to choices and actions that fail to produce the good results we want in life. .In “Chapter 1, The One-Sided Jesus: Sanctified Sweetness,” the authors remind us: “As presented in the Gospels, Jesus is most definitely not one-sided. He is the complete embodiment of healthy, balanced human personality; thus, Jesus is immensely compassionate, kind, and gracious while also being assertive, forceful, and firm when necessary. He is good, but he’s definitely not “nice” or as safe as many Christians want to believe.”

Every chapter includes a vignette about the fictional “Nicole” who is a CNG finding herself on the losing end of all her attempts to be “nice.” Each chapter shows how “Nicole” transforms her life by applying the principles the authors promote in the book.

Other chapters deal with cultural pressures, harmful childhood experiences, friendships, family, dating, marriage and sex, work and how to make the transition from “Christian Nice Girl to God’s Good Woman.”

One Appendix gives a chart of “Not so Nice” Jesus in the Gospels; another talks about abuse in marriage, what it is and what to do about it.

With a mix of humor, Scripture references, fictional true-to-life, and real life examples, the authors encourage women to make their choices based on scriptural principles rightly understood, and then to act courageously on those principles as did Mary of Bethany, Deborah, Jael, Ruth, Abigail, Lydia, Priscilla and other biblical women “who chose to be good instead of nice, and subsequently brought God glory and advanced his kingdom. Immortalized forever in God’s Word, they prove that God prefers his women to do more than passively sit on their hands while evil triumphs.”

Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: No More Christian Nice Girl, When Just Being Nice--instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends
Author: Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D. Degler, PhD
Publisher: Bethany House, Minneapolis Minnesota
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0769-3