Friendly People Are Winners — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Friendly People Are Winners — Morning Devotions

Sometimes we need to step outside of what makes us feel comfortable, to do what makes others feel as though we like them.

By Joni BoydMonday 22 Jan 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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An advertising company in the US conducted a poll of its clients. The question was simple: which is the friendliest country in the world? The winner was Australia.

Most people saw this country as full of friendly people who welcome everyone regardless of their background. Second was Spain. Third was New Zealand. Iran was the least friendly coming in at number 87.

I wasn’t surprised to read that us Aussies are at the top of the list of the friendliest country. I suppose it has to do with our social skills and how we relate to others. For example, would you talk to a stranger on the train or the bus? It seems most of us don’t take those opportunities, especially when we’re tired. If we’ve had a hard day at work, all we want to do is get home.

Nevertheless, if a fellow passenger starts talking, usually we will agree and spend time with them because we don’t want to appear to be unfriendly. Would you call yourself a friendly person? Most of us probably see ourselves as being friendly, but what does it actually mean to be friendly?

And I looked up the word friendly in the Webster’s Dictionary and it said, “Showing interest, goodwill, kindness, being sympathetic and welcoming.” Most of us would probably think, “Yeah, I’m a friendly person!”

Interestingly, a friendly congregation in a church will attract people. The church will grow, even if it’s got 100 other things wrong with it. And if you are perceived to be a friendly person, most likely you’re going to have friends and people who like to be around you.

So, it’s important. Take some time and effort to be kind.

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The Bible has some good advice about being friendly in the New Testament. Paul said, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others,” Philippians 2:5 BSB. In other words, life is not just about you. It’s about others. It’s about making an effort, getting to know others, being friendly and being open.

Are you an open and friendly person?

Sometimes we need to step outside of what makes us feel comfortable, to do what makes others feel as though we like them.

When someone says, “But talking to someone I don’t know makes me feel uncomfortable!” They’re accidentally admitting that they’re still focused on themselves. It says, “I am more concerned with my need to feel comfortable than I am interested in the other person.”

Why don’t you speak first?

Don’t wait for that other person to speak first. Friendly people are known as being those who speak first. It’s practically the definition of friendliness. Take the initiative and
act friendly, whether you feel like doing it or not. It’s not insincere just because you’re not used to doing it. It might feel a bit strange at the beginning but it’s like learning how to play a new sport. It might feel awkward, but as we learn the skill it becomes second nature.

Ever notice how the person who is the life of the party talks so loudly? You don’t have to be loud or the life of the party to be heard. If you’re going to say something, make sure they can hear you use complete sentences. When someone says something to you. Reply back thoughtfully. One-word answers like “yes” or “no” often completely kill a conversation. These are a signal that you don’t know what to say, or worse: “I don’t particularly want to talk to you”.

You can always ask questions

What have you been doing today? What is it that you’re holding in your hand? Ask thoughtful questions and – I think most importantly – be a good listener by listening to their responses instead of planning what you’re going to say next.

The Bible says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 NKJV.

That’s saying, aake a genuine interest in the other person’s feelings. Can I also say: Don’t put yourself down because sometimes we struggle with feelings of being inadequate. Sometimes we can put ourselves down in an attempt to make others think that we are humble.

Be confident. Take the initiative and contact that person you’ve been thinking about. People don’t want to have to do all the caretaking in a friendship. It’s a two-way street, isn’t it?

Having friends is about being a friend. It does require some time thought and effort.

Let’s pray

Lord, I admit that friendly people are the winners. They’re the people that seem to have many friends and are not concerned about themselves in their day-to-day business. Help me to look out for other people and to put others before my own comfort. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.