I recall my mother saying to me quite a few times, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people. And of course she was right. It’s always a good thing to see others being nice to others, like getting up out of your seat on the bus to allow an older person to sit down or smiling at the supermarket operator on the way out. It doesn’t take a lot of energy, but you know, it’s amazing how few times it does happen.
It’s always a good plan to be on friendly terms with your neighbour. You never know when you’ll need to talk seriously with them about replacing that fence. Think about a time when someone was friendly to you, may be encouraging you to come into a gathering or saying hello on the street or smiling from across the room. How did that make you feel? Probably more included, comfortable at ease, safer and the world looks much better with friendliness, and it doesn’t hurt to be friendly. You might feel like you’re forcing it, but deep down, you know that you’re doing the right thing.
You will meet people who are truly interested in you and what you’re doing. But most people, it seems, are too worried about themselves, so keep working at it.
If you want to make good friends, you’ve got to be friendly yourself
A good friendship can do you so much good. And everybody loves a friendly face and no one will hesitate going up to a person who looks approachable. Being a genuine person goes without saying, Don’t be fake when you’re being friendly, a lot of people will be able to see this, so be genuine.
It will just flow naturally, and friendliness must begin with us. We must take the initiative and develop relationships with others. Let us be to others. What we desire for ourselves and the Bible has some good advice for us. In Proverbs 18, Verse 24 a man who has friends must himself be friendly. And when I read that verse, I think of Jesus now. Jesus must have been a very friendly man. After all, He loved people, all sorts of people, so many different situations,
and the New Testament shows us what he did almost every day, offering love, acceptance and forgiveness to so many people, even those who didn’t deserve it. He was particularly friendly towards those outside the religious establishment, and that caused a lot of shock. Jesus life was surrounded by controversy from the impoverished town of Nazareth and the disrespected region of Galilee. Jesus was the unexpected leader, and yet the controversy surrounding Jesus only began with his origins. The true controversy, the one that led to his death on the cross, was how often he questioned and challenged religious leadership.
Jesus loves the unlovable
He commanded the other religious leaders to do the same. Philip Yancey has written a terrific book called The Jesus I Never Knew In one section. He said this he would accept almost anybody’s invitation to dinner, and as a result, no public figure had a more diverse list of friends, ranging from rich people, Roman centurions, Pharisees, tax collectors, prostitutes and leprosy victims. People liked being with Jesus. Where he was, joy was. Now I can only draw one conclusion about Jesus that he was friendly and approachable. Children like to spend time with him. The gospels don’t portray a sad, melancholy Saviour. He enjoyed life, and he loved to be surrounded by people.
Meals were a time for stories and conversation, but his critics thought it was undignified. For him to like a good time didn’t seem to bother him. He enjoyed life, but he kept things in perfect balance. He worked, He healed people. He taught. He prayed. He made time for relaxation. And Scripture says that when he got too tired, he went off by himself to pray and rest. But he never lost his connection with others, even when he was busy. He wasn’t only friendly, but he was humble, meek, honest, generous, kind, healing, loving, faithful patient.
He understood people. He could act with authority. He had knowledge. Jesus was tenderhearted. It wasn’t soft or weak. It was a strong tenderness. He was a man of great character, and he deserves our loyalty.
Let us Pray
Lord, some of us appear to be more friendly than others. Perhaps that’s just a personality matter. But Lord, I pray that you’ll give us a spirit of friendliness and approachability so that others may understand who we are because we believe and belong to you, amen.