I’ve written several posts about friendship lately. (Need to catch up? Click here, here, and here.) I’ve written about our need for friendships, the importance of being connected in relationships with others, and the benefits of having close friends, but you know what I have failed to tell you? HOW TO DO IT!
Now I’m not going to go all “Dr. Phil” on you and give you the self-help steps to winning friends and influencing people. Nope. I have nothing to offer in that regard. My wisdom will only take you so far. But, like in every other area of life, Scripture is the go-to resource for instruction. Do you want to know how to have healthy friendships, how to build trust and intimacy in relationships, and how to gain the love of other people? Follow the instructions God laid out for us:
Romans 12:10 tells us to be devoted to one another and honor each other. What does that look like? Putting other people first! Change your schedule to help someone this week! Each person is a unique creation of our Father. Treat them with respect and love.
Romans 16:16 tells us to greet each other with a kiss. Not literally, though. That could get you in trouble. Here’s the point: don’t brush past people. Stop and say hello. Ask them about themselves. Pay attention. Be interested in them.
Galatians 5:13 tells us to serve one another. Literally. Help each other. Unload the dishwasher. Help with homework. Pitch in to complete a project. Make a meal. Open a door. Run an errand. Let someone know they matter by doing something for them!
Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. You don’t necessarily have to fix the problem; just be a listening ear. Show compassion through your interest. And, if possible, share the load with them in practical ways.
Ephesians 4:32 tells us to be patient and kind. We tend to get frustrated. Very easily. Let’s stop doing that. Let’s allow irritations to roll off our backs. Come on! We can do this! We don’t have to roll our eyes or cross our arms in exasperation with people. We don’t have to talk about people behind their backs. We can choose patience and kindness. After all, God is patient and kind to us daily……even moment by moment. Shouldn’t we follow His example?
Ephesians 5:21 tells us to submit to one another. We don’t like to hear that, do we? We like to get our own way. We’d rather have things done in ways that accommodate our preferences and our schedule. But, God says to deny our desires and to think about what other people prefer instead. What could you do this week to accommodate someone else rather than yourself?
1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another. Compliment other people. Find something good to say. Don’t worry about being a kiss-up; do it! God encourages us, so we ought to comfort and encourage others, as well! In a brutal world, all of us desperately need kind words from other people.
So, what do you think? Would you agree that if we said “yes” to putting these instructions into practice, we would build friendships, win love, and probably even feel really good about ourselves? Might we even be a good representation of the loving God we serve, drawing people to know Him?
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all did that? It might all begin with YOU! So, I dare you – say yes this week. Say yes to doing for other people what you long for them to do for you. Go ahead, make the first move to serve, encourage, and even submit. Just say yes!