Jesus Teaches Friendliness
Hello. We are all friendly, right? I mean, I know of no one who isn’t friendly – – under certain circumstances and with certain people. Our Lord addresses this very matter in regard to friendliness and friendship in Matt. 5:43-48. Here are the common practices of many people:
Love your neighbor
Hate your enemy
Love those who love you
Greet those who greet you
If the above is the general process you follow, then, you are pretty normal. Many of us probably fall somewhere in between. We don’t hate (at least, by our definition) our enemies. We don’t love them either. We probably find it easy to return love or appreciation to those who love us. I am sure we like to think of ourselves as civil to everyone, but what about friendly? What about seeing and greeting those who may ignore us? What about “doing good” to those who don’t reciprocate?
It is easy to greet our friends with friendship and to love our family or neighbors. Jesus is trying to help us be like God. He loves the unlovable. He helps the unappreciative? He blesses the sinner. These are the goals of friendliness and friendship we are striving to attain. Jesus is saying that if we are ‘normal’ in these matters, we are worldly in our thinking. We do not want to be worldly (James 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15).
Let’s us become Christ-like in our friendliness and in our friendship. Get out of your box to engage the folks with whom we deal, on a daily basis, in a friendly smile and some friendly small talk that might lead to an open door for the gospel. Be called a friend of God.