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Covid-19 Devotionals

Friendliness

We needed to do a few stops at shops for various things today. The roads were busy and so were the parking areas. I found out why when asking a cashier after queuing 1 ½ times the length of the store. She said, “It’s month end.” We have been on retirement for 8 months and I have already forgot about month end!

The security in the parking area of the first mall was very friendly and helpful. The first store we went into was Crazy Store to buy a pill box. The attendant and the cashier were extremely friendly. Then off to Checkers for shoe polish. The chap at the entrance put his sanitizer bottle down on the table as we approached and walked off. The cashier was having a bad day.

Then off to another store selling plastics, sweets and biscuits. I needed a small “forgive me” gift for an attendant at Sheet Street. We promised to see her today to purchase two net curtains, but after finding where we put ours and Denise saying she will put ruffle tape on them, we no longer needed to purchase net curtains (praise the Lord for the savings). We bought five “Letsgo” packets of cocoa biscuits with vanilla cream on a special for R20. In this store, the clients and staff were very friendly. The laughter flowed throughout the shop.

Then into Sheet Street. The lady we wanted to see was busy so we waited. A man came to the counter next to where we were. When it was our turn, I explained to the lady that we found our net curtains and no longer needed to purchase as we discussed and handed her a packet of the biscuits. The man next to us remarked, “It’s far better being on the other side of the counter!” We all laughed.

Jenny saw a small cushion and asked if she could buy it. I said yes, and whilst paying I looked at the other cashier who looked a little down. Since we had four packets of biscuits left I handed her one saying, “Now you don’t need to be sad because your friend got a packet.”

As her face lit up, the man next to us said jovially, “I’m also here!”

I responded, “Sorry, you’re on the wrong side of the counter.” Again we had a good laugh.

Afterwards, we needed milk, and no one beats Woolies milk. As we reached Woolworths, we found a notice saying “Temporally closed” on the door. I looked at the security man behind the door and pointed to my watch … trying to find out how long before the store opens … and he shrugged his shoulders. Back to the vehicle and the friendly security guard and off to Builders Warehouse to buy a curtain rail for the dining room. We have one, but when I purchased it I bought a 2 ½ meter long one where I should have purchased a 3 meter one. I learnt that same lesson again … don’t try to cut corners to save money.

As we entered through the gate, we used the sanitizer and the security guard took Jenny’s temperature first. As he held the unit against her head she pretended she was shot. He sank with laughter. The lady at the curtain rail department remembered us from last week and was very friendly. I asked the cashier if I could get the pensioner’s 10% discount. She said they no longer use one’s ID and now only use a Builder’s Warehouse Card. “Do you want one sir?” she asked. When I responded yes, she sent me to another counter and after a few minutes I was back at the cashier … and although the store was busier than I have ever seen it, she helped me immediately. She was more delighted than I was that I managed to get the 10% discount.

By this time, I had used up all my small change and asked the car guard whether he had change. I managed to drive off with R40 change … and he was happy to have helped. After dropping these things off at home, we went to Ruby’s for ruffle tape. Once again, the staff were very helpful and friendly. The last stop was another Woolworths for the milk. After a long queue, we went through the cashier. The one next to her stopped serving her client to chat to us saying (jovially) that we need to be served by her next time. The car guard was once again so friendly and helpful.

We arrived home to find our younger neighbor on the eastern side chatting to her dad (our opposite neighbor). What started off as a greeting landed up in ½ hour chat that was very friendly and enjoyable. Wow … what a long story (and I hope not too boring). That was our day … but did you notice one specific thread that runs through the story? Friendliness!

Where the Bible does not speak about ‘friendliness’, it does speak about ‘friend’ and ‘dear friend’. To be friendly is a disposition. One dictionary describes ‘friendly’ as … “having the temper and disposition of a friend; kind; favorable; disposed to promote the good of another.” The Bible instructs us to “love our neighbours”:

Mat 22:39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

and as you are aware, our neighbor is everyone other than ourselves. Everyone we meet every day is ‘neighbour’. How can we be friendly towards our neighours? How can we enjoy life and be happy with our neighbours and try to get them to respond in the same way towards us? Even though used in the context of Christian to Christian:

Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

We can “spur” others on towards love and good deeds. That is, love in the friendship way (phileo) and good deeds in responding with kindness and happiness. How do we do this? Even though used in the context of enemies:

Mat 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We set the example and trust that being loving, friendly and happy will set the tone and pace for interaction with the people we meet daily! Paul says to the Church at Philippi:

Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all.

Few tend to understand that as Christians we live in a physical (material) world and at the same time we live in a spirit world. By the latter, I am referring to an invisible world where we relate to God through His Holy Spirit. Now you have heard the saying that is often used in the negative … but equally applies to the positive … “The wheel turns” or “What goes around comes around”. Your Christian spirit and attitude is more than a temper and disposition. It is a character and integrity shaped by the Holy Spirit, causing joy and happiness because you are in Christ. It is normal and natural for this to be revealed in being friendly to others. Most others respond favourably!

Dear God, allow my time in Your presence to spill over towards all I meet every day, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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