I feel like I have to keep learning basics to outwork the fact that I do genuinely love people and am interested in them, I just find the initial bit of conversations a bit weird!
I'm learning that the gospel gives me freedom to be open and real. We make all sorts of assumptions about one another (we discussed this in our homegroup this week - we all do it), thinking that others are better or more important than us, and that other people don't have our struggles - when we're all wrestling with the same sort of stuff, the stuff of life and grace. And God arranges us together as a body so we can weep together, rejoice together, and not be divided from one another - which is an urge we all seem to find hard to resist.
On my train journeys for work, I'm studying Philippians 1:1-10 to serve Bristol CU in a couple of weeks. I'm so struck by Paul's joy at the gospel partnership between himself - A Missionary of Antioch Church - and a local church in the city of Philippi. He loves it because they share grace in suffering and speaking for the gospel, and that comes with a yearning with the affection of Christ.
Oh to yearn with Christ's affection for others? That can only come, surely, from receiving his affection for me - he who humbled himself even to the curse of a crucified death and was raised by his Father - and will raise me to be with him, he whose affection overcame all things to enter this world with utter humility. I want to know that affection, I want to know the joy that Paul has and seeks for others, ever increasingly.
Come Holy Spirit, change me - outwork the gospel in my life!
Given Paul expresses his yearning in praying that's probably a step in the process too - to pray for those I'll meet.
Probably against all advice, Matt Perman posts on a way to go for better small talk be vulnerable. I'm learning. And then, the benefits of talking about the weather