My non Christian friends treat me better!
“My non Christian friends treat me better!” is a phrase I often hear Christians use.
I wonder why we think because two people are Christians they will have a perfect relationship.
I think it’s a myth.
To assume that if I love Jesus and if I love people, then all of my relationships will be healthy, vibrant and well is a false belief.
It’s the kind of belief which leads me to expect help from Christians in my hour of need. Christians somehow will be able to read my mind and relate to me as I need them to relate simply because they are initiated.
The question isn’t, “Are they a Christian?”
The question is “How are we relating?”
How we are relating plays a huge role in whether or not I get my needs met.
I can decide I want to be a Jesus follower but I still have to choose to relate to people.
Relating takes time, skill and effort.
I personally don’t always find people easy. At times they can be complex and difficult. I wish I could read people’s minds then maybe I could be al things to all people and in return they could be all things to me.
Sometimes when I hear the comment, “My non Christian friend has been more of a friend to me,” I kind of want to say, “Well if you related to me the same way, we would be a lot closer! But we’re not in this habit of relating like you are with this other person. So I can only give out of the relating we have established so far together.” Sometimes that may not feel enough
I’m labouring a point but it’s a belief which trips us up relationally and leads us to a place of judgement and accusation.
The important ingredient is not our spiritual initiation but how we are relating to one another.
How does this person relate to me?
How are they treating me and how am I treating them?
I think of friends during COVID who rang me to see how I was going, some were Christian, some were not.
The important thing wasn’t whether we were Christian or not. The important ingredient was our ability to relate to one another. We were genuinely relating to one another. It’s this relating ingredient which makes the difference.
During this season of COVID as we are all evaluating friendships, relationships, and life I pray we might stop using this cliche, this myth, this false belief.
In this season maybe it’s a season to re evaluate and think about our relating patterns.
If you have levelled the accusation can I tenderly ask , “How does the other person view your relating?”
“Do they feel they are in a relating relationship with you?”
If not then maybe it’s time to pick up the phone and start relating. Maybe begin with, “How are you?”