When I saw this month’s culture focus was “friendly,” I thought to myself “oh, that’s nice. Yeah, we should be friendly to each other” and didn’t think much about it. Apparently God didn’t want me to just brush off something so important to the culture of C3! The devotional I’m going through had me in Galatians reading about the fruits of the Spirit:
These words jumped off of the page! The Holy Spirit began revealing to me that friendliness is much more than putting on a smile and being nice to our friends, coworkers, or first time guests at church.
It’s a practical outworking of the fruits of the Spirit. It involves submission to the Holy Spirit to allow Him to shine through, even though we might not feel like being friendly.
As women we tend to have big feelings and big hearts. Unfortunately, those big feelings can overshadow what the Holy Spirit wants to do in certain situations if we let them. Our frustration with an outside situation might cause us to feel justified in being short with someone or lack friendliness- however we are actually missing an opportunity to submit and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us and make us more like Him. We might be missing an opportunity to change the course of someone else’s day.
Every interaction has the potential for us to show Jesus to someone, even if they already know Him as their Savior. Whether we’re talking with a friend at church or an unhelpful customer service rep, we have the opportunity and power to demonstrate Jesus. Friendliness speaks volumes and shifts atmospheres. It acknowledges that God made this person and he or she has great worth. It is a simple and practical way to tell someone that they matter.
A synonym of friendly is “demonstrative,” which means showing feelings, giving proof, and involving demonstration. As we are friendly to those around us, we have the opportunity to give proof that Jesus is real, and to demonstrate God’s love to that person.
Like Pastor Whit always says, some things in the Kingdom don’t depend on your personality. I’m introverted and would rather spend the time before church scrolling through instagram alone at a back table. However, if I give in to that, I’m missing an opportunity to grow with the Holy Spirit and to demonstrate Jesus to someone. If you have the Holy Spirit, you can do all things-which includes being genuinely friendly despite feelings, personality, or circumstances. It also includes being bold and talking to people you might not normally talk to.
Although Jesus spoke a lot in parables, he makes his feelings on friendliness pretty clear in Matthew:
Apparently, this is a big deal to Jesus, and should not be left to how we feel. :)
If it’s important to Jesus, then it’s important to us. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to people we can show friendliness to. Let’s ask Him for help to flow through us and develop the fruits of the Spirit within us. Let’s ask Him to remind us we are bold and can do all things through Him.