How to Show Yourself Friendly
Do you have a best friend?
I remember in junior high my best friends and I would write notes back and forth with one another and sign them with hearts and BFF (because our names weren't needed we already knew each other). Ahhh friends. They are refreshing to the soul aren't they? At least they should be. If they're not I'd encourage you to run! I've shared with you before that I'm an introvert. Yep. And for some reason I'm on a bit of a journey lately to actually accept that about myself. <insert shock faced emoji> Why has it taken me so many years, ugh. Rabbit trail.....
So, anyway we were chatting & studying in Sunday School the other day about Jonathan & David's friendship. Wow. Such devoted-ness. I'm not sure I've ever had a friend quite like Jonathan. I mean seriously. He knew how his father felt about David. He gave of himself to David in ways that just don't seem humanly possible for a friend. Family maybe, but a friend? Are you a friend like that? Honestly now. Are you?
While I believe it's extremely important for spouses to be friends.
My best friend is my husband.
I'm so very thankful for our friendship. We actually like to be together. To hang out. I can say he knows me better than anybody and still likes me. <Time for another shocked face emoji> While I believe it's extremely important for spouses to be friends. I believe those spouses should have some close friends (this should go without saying, but of the same gender) that they could call best friends.
Now I realize we live in a time where the word friends seems to have a very loose meaning. I'm thinking Facebook when I say this. How many friends do you have there? I think people actually shoot for a high number of "friends" on Facebook, but there is absolutely NO DEPTH to these relationships if you can really call them that. Someone brought up a very good point that we had talked about some years ago now, I imagine. Would any of these friends answer their phone if you called them at 2 o'clock in the morning?
their reputation? Their own comfort? Their own welfare?
I can count on one hand (outside of family of course) how many people I've had in my lifetime that I could actually say this about, at one time or another. Here's an excerpt from our Sunday study: God knows we need friends who are willing to risk their own reputations, their own comfort, or their own welfare for our sake. It's one thing to have such friends; it's another thing to be that kind of friend. I'm not sure how many people would do this for someone else...their reputation? Their own comfort? Their own welfare? Seriously ponder this for a minute. We're called as Christians to be a friend to one another...like Jesus is. He would do these things. He DID do these things. But, would we?
We're so desensitized these days with our screens. We want to let the world know where we're at so we check in. We update our statuses. Why do we do this? Because we really are craving those kinds of friendships. We just aren't going to find them through the screens we spend so much time staring at. Please don't get me wrong, these screens can be a good thing, but like everything else in life there's a balance. Are we consuming more than we need? Kinda like food, eh?
just like the ole Israelites who turned an 11 day journey into a 40 year long journey and who kept complaining
I've been told before that I'm unapproachable. Not surprised. I actually know I am. I actually do it on purpose. It's that crazy bubble people bounce off of. I've often joked that other people in my life are people magnets. I, on the other hand, tend to do the opposite by repelling people. My grade school report card used to say, "doesn't make friends easily." True. But when I do they're real friendships. The have depth. I'm not someone who needs to be surrounded by many many friends. With all that said, the Holy Spirit has been nudging me for many years to work on my friendliness. While I'm not as in bad of shape as I was when this little journey started...I'm not there yet. But, I am just like the ole Israelites who turned an 11 day journey into a 40 year long journey and who kept complaining by asking, "Are we there yet?" I'd venture to say I'm not alone!
Well, what's a person to do? What's to be done about beefing up on the ole friendliness scale?
Let's see what we can dig up:
Starting with the definition because that's just how I role.
Friend - a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile:
Friendly - characteristic of or befitting a friend; showing friendship
synonyms - 1. companionable, neighborly. 2. kindly, amiable, cordial, genial, affectionate, kind-hearted. 3. benevolent, well-disposed, helpful, favorable; advantageous, propitious.
So I look at all these words & I get baffled...somewhat. Because I see myself as all of these things. I'm not being completely honest with myself. Have you ever heard someone say, "they don't know a stranger?" Well, that's because they're friendly! I don't believe for a second God's desire for us is to be best friends with anyone & everyone. But I do believe we shouldn't be so guarded that we actually come across as rude. Or a myriad of other perceived things. I've never been described as "not knowing a stranger."
I want to be known as friendly. Why does it seem the hardest math problem in the world to solve? Maybe I try too hard. Have you ever been standing in a circle of people...you say something and no one responds? It's as if you don't even exist. This has happened to me more times than I can count.
How about some help from the Bible?
Let's look at few verses and see how we can start showing ourselves more friendly...that is if you're in need of such a thing like I am.
"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." Luke 6:31 Easy enough, right? Actually, I believe it is. If we would consciously turn our eyes from ourselves to the person right in front of us. Breathing a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help. Asking for Jesus to help us see this person just as He does.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 This one may not be as easy as it sounds. With Christ living inside you...all things are possible for sure!
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 Another that seems quite doable.
There's so much more on this subject. I encourage you to dig into His Word and saturate yourself with the truth.
What if we wrote one of these verses down. Memorized it. Put it on the fridge. Our bathroom mirror. The dash of our cars. Let it get into the very fibers of our soul? There's absolute power in the Word of God.
I'd love to hear if you've been where I'm at on this subject? What has God said to you?