Today we will discuss the principal of making friends by first being a blessing to them. The passage we will discuss is Luke 16: 1-14. I'll summarize the passage first.
In this passage there was an unrighteous manager who was squandering his masters possessions. When his master found out he removed him from his position. The manager then goes to each person that has business dealings with his master and reduces the size of their present bill. With no job he needs help from friends. And the friends he made by reducing their bills are the ones that help him. And even though the managers actions were wrong his master praised the man because of his shrewdness in making friends. And sadly Jesus mentions that the unsaved are more shrewd about making friends with their own than christians are with other christians.
Here is one thing we can take away from this passage. We can shape the way we get treated by the way we treat others. If we make it our habit to bless others we can experience their friendship in return. Our favor with them can increase. Also, it can stir up a normal reaction to bless us in return. This can set a good cycle in motion. A cycle in which you bless and then receive a blessing and then bless back again etc.
But, this principal can work both ways. If it is our habit to dish out nastiness, then we shouldn't be surprised when we get a dose back. If we are hurting people we shouldn't expect them to show us favor, blessings and friendship. It doesn't work that way. Here is one verse that warns us about setting a vicious cycle in motion. It is Galatians 5:15
15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
God's ways of love make good sense. And walking in them brings us favor with God and favor with man too. But walking in an unloving way doesn't make sense at all. We don't find favor with man. Our lack of love leads to quarrels and strife. Additionally, when we choose these paths God may need to express His love for us in the form of discipline in order to restore us to ways that are good for us.
And when we show kindness we should be willing to express it first. We should express love first just as God showed us love first. Romans 5:8
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Since these thing are true, lets set our mind to walk in kindness. Lets discipline ourselves to walk in paths that result in favor and blessing. And lets avoid the snares that are found in unloving paths. And lets consider the costly price Jesus paid to purchase our salvation. And let that thankfulness be another motivator to walk in love.
Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (www.lockman.org)
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