In the name of being Christian, many men strive to be nice guys. But while going through life wearing a smiley face may please other people, it doesn't always please God. God wants men to be agents of redemption in our fallen world - and that sometimes requires behavior that's not "nice."


Living the life of power God wants for you means being a good guy rather than a nice guy. It means being bold enough to leave passivity behind and proactively confront injustice.


Here's how you can stop being a nice guy and start being a good guy:


Look at the real Jesus. If you look beyond the sanitized caricature of Jesus as gentle, meek and mild, you'll discover how He embodied masculinity at its best. He balanced love and truth with courage in every situation. He was proactive and commanded respect. He didn't hesitate to display such rugged qualities as toughness, bravery, assertiveness, protectiveness, vitality, intensity, firmness, cunning and shrewdness.


Don't avoid conflict. Realize that conflict is often necessary to confront the world's pain and act as Jesus' ambassadors to bring about healing. Don't shrink back from conflict. Don't be afraid to shake people awake for their own good, even if that means shocking or offending them. Understand that being passive strips you of the power God wants you to have to fulfill His commands to be righteous in our fallen world. Rather than being passive or aggressive, strive to be assertive, like Jesus. Be willing to ask hard questions and confront people when necessary.


Take responsibility only for your own life. Understand that you can't make someone else happy, so stop wasting time and energy trying to please people just for the sake of pleasing them. Don't enable people or try to fix them. Let other people assume responsibility for their own choices and attitudes, and refuse to accept blame that they wrongly place on you. Know that it's perfectly valid to expect to be rewarded for your work, whether you're serving your spouse, your employer, your church, or someone else. Require respect from other people. At the same time, don't look to anyone else besides God to fulfill your ultimate needs. Reject codependency. Take charge of your own life by connecting with God, seeking His guidance and strength often, and moving forward proactively rather than reactively.


Reject a small life in favor of a big life. Instead of living for comfort, live for purpose. Seek adventures that lead to your spiritual growth. Be willing to take risks God leads you to take.


Overcome fear with faith. Ask God to give you the faith you need to overcome fears in every aspect of your life. Whenever a fear enters your mind, feed a fact to it so it becomes more manageable. Ask God to give you the wisdom to discern what you do and don't need to be concerned about in any situation. Use fear to motivate you to become more proactive. Fear only what God will think - not just what other people will think. Know that love and fear cannot co-exist. So let down your emotional guards in your marriage and other close relationships to build true intimacy. Remember that God can transform any kind of pain in your life to give you a greater ability to love. Ask God to give you confidence, and project that confidence in your relationships with others.