“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 19: People-People
Jn 1:41 “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah”
We are looking, we said, at the sort of people we ARE and the sort of people we are BECOMING, assuming we are letting Jesus bring the changes in us he wants to bring. Now there is an uncomfortable issue and it’s all to do with free will which God doesn’t remove when we become followers of Jesus. In fact the way we exercise our free will becomes even more important. We chose to follow him, we choose to let him lead us where he will, to meet the people we will meet, to encounter the circumstances we will encounter (and we’ll examine those in detail tomorrow). However, for the moment we will focus on how we interact with the people we know, the people we encounter in life.
Now some of us have accepted the name-tag ‘introvert’, a person who is typically reserved and tends towards quiet and likes to retreat from life’s ups and downs, and while there are some real benefits in that, if we let ourselves get locked into that definition (and taking personality tests sometimes does that) we may miss out on becoming those people who can be a blessing to other people.
The Good Samaritan of Jesus’ parable (Lk 10:25-) could have been an introvert (we don’t know) but the fact was that he let compassion move him to help the wounded traveller. We may prefer to escape people but the truth is that now we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, He can enable us to be there for others in a gentle and beautiful way. My wife is the outward people-person while I tend toward being the quiet in-the-background person, but that doesn’t stop me being there for any person that Jesus puts before me. How does he want to bless them through me, what grace is available for me – simple encouraging words, being available to pray for them, perhaps bring them a word from heaven?
Some people are natural, outward-going, ‘people-people’, those who are naturally good at interacting with other people but those of us who aren’t can still look for the simple stuff I’ve just described. Andrew, in our starter verse, appears a ‘people-person’. He meets Jesus and has got to tell his brother. Later some Greeks come looking for an audience with Jesus and encounter Philip who hands them off to Andrew who takes them to Jesus (Jn 12:20-22). He’s become one of the insiders (see Mt 13:3). He’s the one who introduced the small boy with loaves and fishes (Jn 6:8,9). Oh yes, he’s good with people. Which means? People are comfortable with him, they open up to him, he wants the best for others. A good discipleship role model? We may feel inadequate but if we determine to be available to Jesus, he can give us the grace to be a blessing – to whoever. Just like he did.