Thursday, April 16, 2020

Do you really want to be friends?

We must value our initial relationships with people for what they are and not in terms of what we want out of them. This means that we must want to become their friends. Moreover, it must be a friendship with no strings attached. We must seek out relationships because we are interested in and value other people for who they are, right where they are. Conversions would be nice, but they are not our main agenda. We hope and pray for the best for our new friends, but that is not our principal motivation for relating to them. In this way and only in this way do we avoid colonizing people as we convert them.

There is a simple way to test if this is what we are doing.

Will we initiate and stay in relationship with someone if they never become a Christian? If the answer is yes, then we are conducting our relationship in the right spirit. If the answer is no, then we are lapsing at some point into one or more of the power-plays just described.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 55

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