“Why are you still my friend? I am never going to become a Christian,” he said. By this time we’d been friends for a few months. We worked to together in at an insurance company basically as the scum of the office. It was one of those jobs where you begin to idolize the movie “Office Space” because it really could have been you.
Anyways, we had a number of spiritual conversations and I was really excited about that. Being a good Bible college kid, church kid, etc. I basically got really excited whenever I had the chance to “share the gospel” with someone. My friend was different though. He had heard it all before, had really good thoughtful responses to many of my thoughts and really left me with nothing else to do but say, “Well, that is what i believe.” Proving Christianity true was not going to happen and even if i was able to do that, he would not have believed anyways. So, at this point, i was left with a few options.
I could be like i was many other time in my life and go find someone else to share the good news with who would actually listen.
Or, i could be his friend. Well, there was a novel idea. So I did that. I made the promise to myself that I would love this guy no matter what. No matter if the spirit never moved in his life to follow Jesus or not.
I lost my agenda and in turn I gained a friendship that has lasted to this day.
I was talking today with some friends about how approach loving people with the wrong agenda. I was thinking that we needed to lose our agenda when it came to growing redemptive friendships. I think maybe that we do in fact have to have an agenda. We just have to have the right agenda.
Instead of our agenda being “getting them saved” or whatever, our agenda needs to simply be loving people. That’s it. Love them. Who can be offended at that agenda? I know that many times in my life I could have been accused of being someone’s friend just so I could tell them what I knew they needed to hear. Just so I could get them saved. Now, best intentions aside, I know that when people feel like projects they can be pretty offended.
But, who could be offended with the agenda of love?
Seriously. Who would say, “Hey, I am mad at you because the only reason you are being my friend is to love me.” Yeah. I wish I had more friends like that!
Of course, as Christ followers, when we love people we are showing them Jesus. When we love people and we have true friendships with them, they will hopefully see Jesus in our lives. Perhaps its better to not only introduce them to the idea of Jesus with our words but to also introduce them to the being of Jesus with our actions.
Of course, the agenda is still love. Jesus is the result of that love. Its not give them Jesus to show them we love them. Its love them so that they see Jesus.