I have a close knit immediate family. While having lunch one Saturday afternoon, the topic of our “circle” or “tribe” came up. They were of the opinion that making friends isn’t easy and while I agree, I also think it’s not AS hard as some may think.
Scripture tells us that if we want to have friends, BE friendly (Proverbs 18:24). So why is it that there are friendly people, who find it hard to make friends? I’ve thought about this over the years as I look at my own network. I love variety. But when I looked at my “tribe”, which includes my spiritual one, they all looked the same…like me. Why is that when I’ve always longed for different cultural connections in my life. Not just being courteous and interacting on a surface level, but having a real connection with someone from another race.
Psychologist, Donn Byrne, did some research that resulted in this:
“…most of us have a need for a logical and consistent view of the world. We tend to favour ideas and beliefs that support and reinforce that consistency. People who agree with us validate our attitudes and so satisfy this need, whereas people who disagree with us tend to stimulate negative feelings – anxiety, confusion and maybe even anger – that lead to repulsion.” (psypost.com)
So I guess, these familiar views are typically shared racially?? Or perhaps, it’s just our desire for familiarity in general be it views, food preferences, social experiences, or whatever. Not sure about that but here are my thoughts. As a Christian, I don’t believe in coincidence so I take meeting people seriously. I believe God is intentional. So when I am blessed to meet someone, God has a plan of some sort. As a Christian, I carry the Gospel – the good news – and have a mandate from God to share it. Not by preaching to everyone I come in contact with but through a smile, a brief conversation, letting others see how He does everyday life with me, sharing my testimony of His hand in my life, etc.
So what I’m saying is this. I look for the ways that God wants to make what I call “creation connections”. He put things, GOOD things, in all of us. Saved and unsaved alike, He made all of us in His image. Just as there is something in me to share with someone, there’s a reciprocal benefit for me, too! Hence, the reason we should look for Him to show up in all the ways He blesses us to relate to others. With God, it’s a win/win.
So what does this have to do with the Skinny Girl, you may ask? Well after lunch that day, we went to a Nail bar for extended girl time and pampering. I was the only one who needed a pedicure so I was essentially separated from my “tribe”. I sat next to a woman and after almost an hour of silence as we were glued to our individual phones, we ended up chatting. She’s a not a Believer. She’s a runner/hiker/biker and is always looking for places to enjoy the great outdoors. The Skinny Girl in me keeps calling me to the trails. Long story short, I introduced her to a place where I go most often, Prayer Mountain. You see what I see? A “creation connection” that never would have been made had I chosen to keep to myself and ignored an opportunity to be friendly at the nail bar.
Peace and Blessings!