One day, a friend and I were talking about socializing at work. Like most of us, through the years, she’s had both good and bad experiences, and she is now in a particularly great place because of a very close friendship she has with a dear coworker. However, this hadn’t always been the case! In fact, when my friend was still a newbie at the office, her current BFF didn’t like her very much at all!
The reason? My friend was too much of a “goody-goody.”
All the other women in the office loved to make snide remarks about their boss behind his back – but my friend showed him respect. All the other women would get together on their lunch breaks and soak in all the juicy gossip that formulated around the office all morning – but my friend didn’t really talk badly about anyone. To top it off, all the other women in the office would spend most of the day complaining about their jobs, income, husbands, in-laws – you name it! But my friend? Anybody could see she was thankful, and happy to be where she was (even without very many work friends at the time, the poor thing!).
Well as God saw fit, He eventually brought my friend into a situation where she had to work very closely with one of “those” women on a project. After a couple months of working together, the two were inseparable – and becoming closer every day! These days, you would never be able to guess that there was ever such a rift between the two of them – they are constantly joking, laughing and encouraging each other.
Recently, this woman turned to my friend and said “You know what? I’ve noticed that every time I left from hanging out with the other girls in the office, I always felt kind of worse inside. But whenever I’ve been hanging out with you, I always leave feeling better and happier!”
I think it’s safe to say that my friend’s good character has rubbed off on this woman, and because of it, they’re BOTH happier and enjoying the time they spend with each other!
“A man is known by the company he keeps.” | Anonymous
Isn’t that the truth? Do you notice how different you feel when you’ve been spending time with someone who is happy and positive versus someone who is constantly complaining or being negative about something? I’ll tell you what – in the end, positive people are ALWAYS more pleasant to be around!
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” | Mother Teresa
Let’s self-reflect for just a minute. Do people leave conversations with you feeling encouraged, happier and/or better? Or do they leave with a sinking feeling in their gut, thinking “hmm… maybe we shouldn’t have said all of that.”
Can you imagine what life would be like if our churches were determined to not let anyone leave our presence without feeling happier?? I’ll tell you this much – there would be a lot more happy people around! You see, we’ve got such a great opportunity here to show God’s love towards so many of the lost and hurting people around us. It isn’t more negative backlash that they need to be around – it’s Jesus. And so, who better to spend their time with than one of His own disciples? (That’s you!)
“Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.” | Philippians 2:4-5
Christians were meant to represent Christ to the best of their ability, and follow in His ways according to what the Bible says. There are SO MANY different areas of improvement that I alone can come up with for myself, but what will make it easier is to just focus on one thing at a time. So here’s an easy one that anyone can begin trying today – be the kind of company that people delight in. We have enough negative nancy’s in this world to bring others down… What we need is more people to build folks up – and that can most certainly be you!
So whether it’s at home with your family, at school with your classmates/roommates, or at work with your colleagues, be that positive, Christ-like influence in someone’s life. It’ll make all the difference!