Recently I heard someone say something that kinda stuck with me. After a few days of this thought running through my mind I think I’m finally ready to hash it out here, on the blog. Are you ready for this great insight? Well…they said, “Pretend that you’re friendly”.
Wow. Not totally earth-shattering in a giant noticeable way, but certainly life-altering in a subtle wrestle-with-the-concept way. I mean, think about it, really think about what this short sentence could do for your life.
Of course, we are taught to be our ‘real’ selves, to be who we are deep inside, but what if who we are isn’t so nice to people? What if we are grumpy, having a bad day, or our personality leans more to the not-so-nice side of the fence?
In Galations 5:22-23 the Bible says this: “But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, not giving up, being kind, being good, having faith, being gentle, and being the boss over our own desires. The Law is not against these things.” nlv
While I think this scripture is the perfect description of what it means to be friendly, sometimes it sure can be challenging to put it into practice, can’t it? I know it is for me! And while I’m not advocating that we run around with fake smiles plastered on our face all day, I do believe that there is some wisdom in pretending to be friendly, even when we don’t feel like it.
As Christian’s we are called to be different than the world, our lives should reflect Christ, and part of His personality is that He was friendly. Jesus never let His ‘bad’ days get the best of Him, He never lashed out at people in a fit of anger, and from what I’ve read in the Bible He never walked around in a ‘funk’. No, Jesus was kind, He was gentle, He was all of those adjectives we just read about in Galations. And while we aren’t, and cannot, be perfect we can still strive to live up to His example.
We don’t know what the people in our lives are struggling with, the trials and situations they are dealing with. The world is not a friendly place, it tends to use people, and spit them out. I don’t know about you but a kind word, a friendly face, a genuine gesture of grace can bring so much healing in my life. I guarantee that that is what people are looking for, a friend.
Pretend that you’re friendly… and one day you might just surprise yourself when you realize you’re no longer pretending.