Character Quality: Friendly

Character Quality: Friendly with {free} coloring page.

Character Quality: Friendly

“Let your light so shine among men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

“walk as children of the Light….”

How do you let your light shine? It starts with just a smile. A smile is the universal “Hello”, the universal “Hey”, the universal “I see you.” Smiling isn’t difficult, but it is daring. Smiling at a stranger is a way of reaching out to them from a distance. Like a small light, a smile can change the atmosphere in a room.

Jesus smiled. He made it a point to meet people where they were. He greeted them with loving eyes, compassion and gentleness. Jesus wasn’t all sullen and serious. He wasn’t grave and grim, though he was resolute and earnest.

Jesus met Matthew with a smile, “Come follow Me.” He greeted Nicodemus with a smile in the darkness around a campfire. He smiled as Martha railed about Mary’s irresponsibility, smiled when we noticed Zacchaeus up in the Sycamore tree. The Rich Young Ruler, the lepers, the blind man who couldn’t see it, but could sense it, was drawn in by Jesus’ smile.

Our smile is the first impression we give to others. Our smile communicates confidence in ourselves and our interest in the other person. Smiling is a bold, courageous act. It’s a soft tap on the door of someone’s heart. A smile proceeds a conversation, an understanding, trust, and friendship. It is an attempt to initiate a relationship by simply sharing a little joy with someone.

When I was a young girl my mom and I would play a game at the check out of stores. We would search for the cashier who looked as if she’d had the worst day, the one who was down-trodden, the one who was screaming, “I don’t want to be here!” We would get in her line, no matter how long. Our mission: to see who could get her to smile first. We would smile, ask about her day, engage with her.

I still look for the dicouraged cashier. And I’ve learned a few things. There are a lot of hurting people. They go through the motions, go to work, try to do their best, but they are stuck in a place of wounding. They don’t think anyone sees, much less cares. They are living Thoreau described as “lives of quiet desperation.”

Few people feel known. Most don’t feel heard. They feel trapped, lost. Their world is spinning and they are free-falling. They wonder if anyone notices, anyone cares. Hope and joy allude them. Smiles and laughter are strangers to them. I’ve learned that it matters for us to take the time to engage with them, to smile at them, to communicate that we care.

Being friendly can be scary. Often it is easier to just keep to ourselves, embrace austere and aloof. But those are not God honoring. God needs us to be His hands and feet. That means that we dare to look others, strangers, in the eyes and say, “Hello.” It means we smile, nod, acknowledge. Holding the door open for someone, saying “excuse me” in a crowded space, thanking others for their help, all of these are expressions of friendliness.

As we have seen, these characters work together and complement each other. It would impossible for them to work independent of each other. There is great overlap. Diligence needs determination and focus. Gratitude needs awareness and contentment. Friendly needs selflessness and self-control. It needs confidence, gentleness and kindness. It must be considerate and compassionate.

The beautiful part of this is that often we will have a strength in one area and a weakness in another. But because they are all interrelated, we can grow and improve in our weaknesses as we trust the Lord with them and allow Him to mold us into the image of His Son. Jesus is the perfect whole. He is God. As God He cannot act in contradiction to Himself. He is holy, just, gracious, and loving. Complete. Eternal. Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.

Our ability to be friendly, to be-friend others is directly related to our heart’s desire to point others to Him. Our selflessness. It requires that we allow Him to work through our fears of rejection and hurt, our unrealistic expectations, our past failures and allow Him to teach us.

Teaching our children to be friendly is done most efficiently by modeling it. Start by smiling at them! Your kids should know your smile. It should be the most common expression on your face. Our smiles should come from the inside out, an outward expression of our inward relationship with He who alone is Able and Worthy. So start by smiling at your kids, seek to acknowledge them

Father,

Teach us to be friendly to others in the world. You have placed us here for a purpose. There are many who do not know you, but they see us. May our smiles be genuine; may they reflect our love for You and our interest in those You gave Your Son for. May we be good representatives of You as we go into the world.

Amen

 {Just click on the image below to download your free coloring page for your personal use.}

Character Quality: Friendly with {free} coloring page.

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: April 24, 2015, by : Rachael Carman