by Charles R. Swindoll
Are you attractive? I'm not referring to external beauty nor facial features. I'm asking if you are attractive—magnetic, winsome, charming, friendly. Listen to Proverbs 18:24a (KJV):
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.
Do you see the point of the proverb? To have friends we must be friendly. Friendliness is a matter of being someone . . . more than it is doing something.
A prerequisite to friendliness is a positive, healthy self-image. Ephesians 5:29 suggests this fact in a context dealing with a man's love for his wife.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church. (Read also Romans 12:3.)
A healthy attitude toward ourselves is necessary before there can be a healthy attitude toward others . . . which attracts them as friends. To encourage you toward that vital objective, let me remind you of three simple, yet wonderful facts:
1. God originally designed and "prescribed" you (Psalm 139:13-17).
2. God is not through—He hasn't completed His work in you (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 2:10).
3. The real you—that which God develops—is within you (1 Samuel 16:7).
Far more than your outward size, shape, features, and dress, your inner qualities are the things that make you attractive and friendly. First Peter 3:1-6 makes this abundantly clear.
So—rather than feeling obligated to "glad hand" everyone you see at church and work up an outward appearance of friendliness, take a long look at the inner you, the real you. Call to mind those qualities He has developed within you. Find encouragement in the fact that you have a unique combination of inner qualities found in no one else—so you have a contribution to make in just being yourself!
Ask God to give you the ability to be positive, honest, and open (and comfortable doing so!) at all times. Ask Him to use you to be a friend to someone who is needing a friend. Personally, I think that makes a lot more sense than feeling we have to walk around with a grin twenty-four hours a day!
I agree with John R. Mott:
Rule by the heart. When logic and argument and other forms of persuasion fail, fall back on the heart-genuine friendship.
Excerpted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, Copyright © 1983 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House.