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Try Liking Your Neighbor – Relationship Investing

loving-your-neighbor-2Key Bible Verse: Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

Bonus Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Recently I attended a ballet recital in which the 13-year-old daughter of a new friend danced in key scenes. Do I know a grand battement from a relevé? No. And to be honest, watching ballet isn’t one of my favorite pastimes. I went because my new friend and his wife invited my wife and me to participate with his family in something important to them. And I had a surprisingly good time.

It’s as if non-Christians are saying to us, “Show me that you really care about me! Invite me to go cycling with you. Show up at the hospital when my daughter has surgery. Lend me a book that has been special to you. Invite me to see a movie with you. Notice when I’m feeling down. Invite me to walk with you. Call me to say hello. Lend me a tool I need.”

God calls us to cultivate genuine, loving relationships with non-Christians. That does take time. And the spiritual reward may not come for many years—even during our lifetimes. A friend told me that for four years she walked an hour a day with a non-Christian woman who never became a Christian during that time. But she sure learned a lot about God and how he helped meet her needs.

—Stephen Sorenson in Like Your Neighbor?

My Response: A nonchurched acquaintance I’ll reach out to is ____.

Thought to Apply: Before you can convince a man of anything, you must first convince him that you are his true friend. —Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. president)

Adapted from Like Your Neighbor? (InterVarsity, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me build at least one friendship solid enough to create openness to your good news.

 

 

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