May 14, 2009

Unfriendly Faith

Written by Boyd Bailey

Unfriendly Faith… “An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.” Proverbs 18:1

Why are some people unfriendly? Are they just shy, or is there selfish intent? If I am fearful of being embarrassed because of my words, the focus is all on myself and not on Christ and others. There is a need for me to get over me, and get on with God. It is not about self, but about selfless love of people. If Christ is the center of my thinking, then I totally trust Him in growing my social skills. Silence can send the wrong message.

If someone silently judges another, without seeking to understand and clarify their position, there follows conceit and arrogance. Conversely, friendliness can facilitate a safe environment so that relationships can emerge and grow in grace. However, an attitude of contempt tends to make matters worse by not extending grace and understanding. “When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace” (Proverbs 18:3)

An unfriendly face can release selfish signals. It repels warmth and rejects intimacy. What does the expression on your face communicate, acceptance or rejection? Do you invite others into your emotional space with a pleasant expression, or do you dismiss them with a face without feeling. How we look is a translation of our heart. Therefore, be friendly and attractive, so that your faith in Christ can be expressed with grace and love.

A friendly countenance says you are open to hearing a person’s hurts and fears. You are not easily frustrated, because your focus is on serving and not being served. Friendly faith is forever reaching out, and sincerely seeking to understand another’s perspective. “Does my attitude portray being a friend of Jesus, or a friend of the world?” Friendly faith facilitates faith. Thus, “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” (1 Peter 3:15, TM).

Related Readings: Proverbs 16:21; 24; John 15:14-15; Philippians 2:3; James 4:4

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