Investing in Friendship: The Example of Jesus

How open-hearted do we have when we meet someone for the first time? While the tendency is rather to evaluate well, or even limit the number of friendships in which we invest, we offer you a different way of approaching new people placed in your path.

He was exhausted. The sun was beating down hard. Sitting on the well, he saw this woman approaching. How was he going to react? Observe it? Ignore him, because he was exhausted after all? According to the customs of the time, it was even more in his interest to keep his distance, for the Jews and the Samaritans avoided each other, not to mention the fact that she was a woman. Yet Jesus communicates with this stranger, the Samaritan woman. The meeting is brief. But the few words they exchange will have extraordinary significance. Read John 4 if the story arouses your curiosity!

The example of Jesus

The way in which Jesus welcomed the new people he met was challenging. He knew how to create space, give time, show interest, and actually meet the person he was in front of him. Yet her life was no less busy than ours. His fatigue no less present. Imagine the crowds following him. The requests he received from all sides. In its place, we would often have said: stop!

Today we sometimes have the feeling that the glass is full. To meet new people ? Invest in new relationships? Our agenda is screaming at us that this is madness. We already have so much difficulty maintaining the friendships we have. But what we need to understand is that it is not really our schedule that Jesus' example comes to shake up. It's our mentality.

A new perspective

Because the bottom of the question is not only to dare to make room for new potential friendships. Jesus goes much further. We can choose to make every person we meet a friend. What do you mean ? By deciding to offer the person in front of us the same relational quality that we offer to a friend. What if we got to know her name, who she is beyond appearances, what are her needs, her reality of life? We will sometimes have to put down our stress and our apprehensions and make the choice to welcome the present moment and the other as it is.

The challenge: look at the potential of the relationship before assessing the price it could cost us. We do this by seeking the wealth that is in the person in front of us. And what's amazing about this approach is that it's rarely going to “cost” us as much as we imagine. Take Jesus: just a few words exchanged, a meal shared. It didn't always take a lot to experience moments of great depth, capable of transforming a life.

It can be the same for us! And we will never know which of the other or of us will receive the most. The person we meet may remain an acquaintance, or we may never see them again. Perhaps she will become a key person in our life path. By choosing to make every person we meet a friend, we are going to be surprised. Try the experiment.

N.Horton

Find more articles on spiritual, the magazine that brings together Christian women from the French-speaking world. 

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