Alan Powell, The Song Movie

Paul Coughlin’s book is not just for Christians, it’s for every man who thought being good meant being “nice.” It’s also for the men who know that being offensive at times is needed, and for the men who don’t just take opportunities, but make them. Read what Coughlin has to say about being “nice” when life is a diificult battle.

I cannot overstress the importance of beginning the great work of being proactive rather than reactive in life. Writes Dale Carnegie: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Proactivity is penicillin to your Nice Guy infection. Here’s why: CNGs [Christian Nice Guys]spend a lot of time counterpunching, which wastes precious emotional and physical reserves. Accept these facts: Life is a difficult battle, demanding conflict and struggle. The best way to meet this requirement is by taking the battle to life, not letting life take the battle to you. You’ll make much more progress when you’re offensive. True, it won’t be easy, but think about the wisdom and practicality of this: You’ll be giving the same amount of output you did when you lived reactively, only soon you’ll be thriving instead of just surviving.

Also, being proactive is a kind of mosquito repellant: it keeps the bloodsuckers away. Nice Guys, you do have bloodsuckers in your life, people who sense your deficiencies and use them against you. This is the answer to a question that haunts you: Why do people feel so comfortable picking on me? Because they know they can. You transmit a discernable deficiency, and the predators know it. They can smell your weakness. They aren’t about to change any time soon, so don’t waste your time trying to rehabilitate them. Predators listen to people with a bigger stick, and your stick isn’t very big — yet.

We cannot fulfill Christ’s requirement for wisdom, shrewdness, or cunning unless we are proactive.

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Proactivity is a learned discipline that brings improved harmony in your life as you go deeper and deeper into this reality of the masculine. And something that people might mistake for magic happens when you maintain this discipline. Opportunity calls, often in seemingly mysterious ways. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, playwright, poet, and novelist, knew what he was talking about when he wrote of the unique happenings that stem from living proactively.


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power … in it. Begin it now.

Copyright ©, 2005. Used with permission.

Excerpt from No More Christian Nice Guy by Paul Coughlin (Bethany House Publishers). Used by permission.