How to Find Friends

by Marilyn Ehle

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly…�
“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…�
Proverbs 18:24 and Matthew 20:28 (NKJV)

“I’ve been in this church 14 years and I can’t find anyone to talk to on Sunday morning.�

When I heard those words from an intelligent, attractive, mature woman, I questioned their validity. Because the church is large, it provides myriad opportunities for involvement—everything from hiking to knitting groups, Bible studies to craft classes, mission trips to music.

How is it possible for an individual, over the course of many years, to not find a niche in a local church? An acquaintance employed by the foreign service of her country’s government and who moved every three to five years—usually to areas of the world far from friends and family—said there was a relatively simple way to emotionally survive in such a lifestyle: “Dig in immediately. Try new things. Invite strangers to your home. Find a place to serve. Don’t give up.�

Jesus is our example for entrance into a new culture whether it be a school, church, community or country. He moved out of his “comfort zone� of heaven. He developed relationships with people of diverse backgrounds. He unselfishly served. He went to parties and weddings, even daring to eat with sinners!

Followers of Jesus must be people with passionate purpose. While not everyone is an unreserved extrovert, we must not use our personalities as an excuse for lack of involvement. We dare not wait 14 years to find someone to talk with. We are called to intentionally serve, not be served.

Jesus, you are my friend but also my example of friendliness. Not a friend whose hand is weak and words glib, but one who intentionally reaches into my life. Help me be creative in doing the same for others.

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