The one time a Christian might have to sacrifice being friendly

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Christians are told to be peacemakers. The Lord Jesus Himself said that this is a very important trait that defines a real child of God:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)

If children of God are called to be peacemakers, is it wrong for a Christian to be not very friendly?

Let's talk about that.

Wisdom before friendliness

Many Christians today think that friendliness is a trait that must be present in every Christian. As such, they do their best to befriend as many people as possible, believing that it's a good thing to be friendly.

Of course, friendliness is a good thing. Webster's dictionary defines being "friendly" as "Having the temper and disposition of a friend; kind; favorable; disposed to promote the good of another." If our being friendly can be described this way, then it's good.

There are some times, however, when we have to be careful who to be friendly to. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said that He sent us out as "sheep among wolves" (see Matthew 10:16). While we can be friendly, we shouldn't be naïve. We must be very careful as to who we will befriend, who we will allow into our lives, and who will have a place of influence over us. Remember,

"Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."" (1 Corinthians 15:33)

When friendliness competes with the Great Commission

Many of us, in an effort to reach out to others, make the big mistake of just being friendly, fearing possible rejection. We tend to replace the Great Commission with making a great company of people, in an effort to be accepted. We make friends, not preach the Gospel.

What we forget is that the message of the Gospel will always be an offensive message that points out our sinfulness and desperate need for the Lord Jesus. This message will be received by some, but will be ignored by others. We need to accept the fact that we have an enemy who hates us, and he will cause others to react unpleasantly to our preaching of the Gospel.

Does this mean we shouldn't be friendly? Does this mean we should be harsh towards people? No, it doesn't mean that way at all. What I am trying to say is that making friends is not at the top of our list; obeying God is.

And His will is that all men will be saved through the Gospel of Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:4).

In closing

Friendliness is a great asset, a character trait that should be seen in a Christian. But it doesn't go before being wise and prudent, and it certainly must not overtake the preaching of the Gospel. Our goal is to be like Christ, not to be everyone's pal.

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