Friendliness is a Spiritual Discipline

Proverbs 18:24
A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother

This is a wonderful verse of encouragement and comfort. Especially the end of the verse that speaks of the Lord sticking closer than a brother. Brothers or sisters usually have a close kinship. They may disagree or argue, but if someone comes against them from the outside, the other siblings will stick up for them. Simply because there is blood relationship present, and that is what makes this verse so meaningful. The wonderful fact is that we are in God’s family through the blood of Jesus.

Therefore, we know the Jesus, also known as our Brother, always has our back because we are in covenant relationship with Him. He will never leave us. What an assurance!

I was wondering, however, why the beginning of this verse isn’t mentioned as much, because there is a reason why the two subjects are in the same verse.

Basically what the beginning of the verse is saying is, that to have friends, we as individuals have to be friendly.

Attitude plays an important role in friendship. Very often I have noticed people, yes even Christians, who walk into a room without greeting the person or persons already in the room. Social etiquette dictates that it is the person walking in that should do the greeting. This is actually basic manners.

How friendly do we show ourselves to others? Are we oblivious to others around us, remaining in our own little world? Do we only greet the ones we have something in common with, or those we like? Or are we open hearted like Jesus, Who was totally inclusive with all people. He did not judge by His eyes or by His ears, but treated all people equally, even Judas who would betray Him. Indeed He even included Judas in the washing of His disciples’ feet.

I am sensing at this time that the Holy Spirit is challenging us with what we may even consider to be little things. We may not consider the greeting or the friendliness to all as important, but I believe the Holy Spirit is saying it is because it promotes us into a deeper level of godliness. Yes even this is a spiritual discipline.

It is true to say, “friends come, friends go”. Some are maybe for a particular season in our lives. However, if we show ourselves to be open hearted in the giving of friendship, there will never be a shortage of those we can fellowship with.

Remember though, it all begins with a greeting, not an avoidance. Even Paul says “Greet one another with a holy kiss”(handshake)

I can guarantee that blessing will “run after us” when we practice this.