Question:

Hey Jeffrey,

I have a question: I try to be a friendly person all the time, but some people's personalities I don't mesh with, or I'm not a big fan of how they do things or treat people. Some people lie all the time and make light of it and one guy constantly curses at people and belittles people. I'm not a fan of that, Do I have to greet them, smile and make small talk with them to avoid sinning? I don't go out of my way to speak to certain people, but I'll greet them and talk when we cross paths. Is that a lack of brotherly kindness?


Answer:

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:44-48).

"Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. They repay me evil for good, to the bereavement of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; the smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, they slandered me without ceasing. Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth" (Psalms 35:11-16).

There are always going to be people that you will be more comfortable with. Jesus had his twelve disciples and among them Peter, James and John are with Jesus more than the others and John describes himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Yet, you still see Jesus talking and dining with the Pharisees who are trying to trip him up and kill him. Jesus eats with sinners and tax collectors. Why? Because everyone needs saving and these people need it more than others.

Don't participate in other people's sins, but don't close the doors on people. Perhaps one day they will need good advice from Christ and they'll remember that you are approachable. "I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world" (I Corinthians 5:9-10). Wherever we turn, we are going to run into ungodly people. They won't be our best friends, but we can still be polite and kind to them. "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21).

Don't lose sight of the goal: the salvation of everyone we might meet.