Do People Feel WELCOME Around You?

Alright… I will start off by saying this… if you have NEVER been to the Caribbean (or outside of the country that you currently live in)… you must go visit a foreign places and lands, as those will be some of the most enlightening times of your life!

That said… my wife and I just arrived back home from our vacation to Puerto Rico a few hours ago… and the experience of visiting a foreign land truly made my little world, get just a LITTLE bit larger. (and yes, I know P.R. is an American territory, but trust me… it is unlike anything you’ll EVER see in the continental United States)

As we were down there on the island…  exploring back and forth & interacting with many of the Puerto Ricans, for one of the first times in my life, I felt like the foreigner because I spoke ONLY a little bit of Spanish (enough to barely get me by)… and my wife spoke none at all!

Fortunately many of the Puerto Ricans were bilingual… but it seemed that just as many of them weren’t, and only spoke Spanish.

If any of you know what I’m talking about… you can agree that when you are not well-versed in the language of a country that you are in… you can feel somewhat lost, somewhat silly & goofy, a bit out-of-place, and slightly confused.

Rude awakening, yes… but now I know to a small degree what many Latino and other foreigners who first move to the United States feel like.

But, for the most part, I felt very welcomed in this new, tropical land that we visited… and I guess it helped that as tourists we were dishing out money, money, money (LOL).

So I started pondering this thought, “Am I (or any of us) the type of person… that goes out of their way to make other people feel welcome?”

In Mark 2:13-17, the apostle writes about how Jesus walked with, talked with, and had dinner with tax collectors, the sick, and other “sinners”… and how the Pharisees were anxious to rip him a new one because of Jesus’ choice of friends.

When you look at the character of Jesus and who He was… he totally exemplified the personality traits that we should all have. He welcomed ALL who came to Him. Now He might have put a few of those folks who came to Him in place… or scolded them… but whenever that happened, He did it in love… in order to better that person.

Jesus didn’t care if a person had a low socio-economic status… He didn’t care if they were a whore… He didn’t care if they stole… He didn’t care if they were blind… He didn’t care if they were super-wealthy… All who came to Him, were welcome.

So the question I would like to ask you (and don’t worry, I asked myself the same question — I didn’t want to be a hypocrite)… is this:

Do people feel welcome around you?

And no, I’m NOT talking about the people that you like… or love to be around… because that’s easy for you to make them feel welcome around you!

I’m talking about the people that you can’t stand being around. The people who owe you money from 5 years ago. The person who all your friends talk about because they’re different. Do you make them feel welcome?

That person who is a loner. That person you see everyday on the corner begging for money… and you think that if you give them money, they’ll spend it on liquor. Do you make them feel welcome?

Let’s go deeper. How about that person who is a different color than you. Yes I know that you’re not a racist, but do you shy away from a person or keep a person at distance…. just because they’re black, white, yellow, or red… just because they don’t “look like” you?

How about that person who is Jewish… or they’re Islamic… or Hindu… or dare I say they are an athiest… and don’t believe in God at all? Do you make them feel welcome around you?

What many people don’t realize is that walking with a welcoming spirit can be a ministry all in itself. When you make people feel welcome around you… you can cut down the tension, you can cut down the barriers that separate many of us… and this is all because making someone feel welcome around you is an act of love.

Now that’s not to say that you accept a person’s sin or moral defiencies. That should NEVER happen… but there’s an old saying that I heard once that says, ‘Accept the Sinner, not the Sin’.

As a person who 100% believes in the Bible as the Word of God… I understand that Jesus is”…the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes the Father… except through Him” (John 14:6). But that will NEVER stop me from making a person who thinks or believes differently from me… feel welcomed or loved.

You see, when you make someone feel welcome around you… through either conversation, or helping them, or befriending them, or something as simple as a caring smile… you are causing walls to fall down.

Why? Because you are letting that person know that you value them as a person, though they may look different from you, believe different from you, and may not be as popular or as high on the social ladder as you are…. you let them know they are welcomed… and therefore, they are loved!

By making people feel welcome around you… you are doing a great work… and are guaranteeing yourself that when you are in a vulnerable situation, that others will make you feel welcome around them.

Please let me know what you think on the blog or on the discussion group on the TodayAbundance group page on Facebook. I would like to hear what you all think!

So until tomorrow… “Nos vemos más tarde y ser bendecido!” (See you later and be blessed!)

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Written by Daniel Wiafe in: Attitude,Inspiration,Relationship | Tags: , ,


  • Geri-Jean

    This is a FANTASTIC word “Do People Feel WELCOME Around You?” THANK YOU!
    I have really been seeing lately how a lot of the church( including me ) have been very self-righteous.
    I heard someone say today that they were going to talk to a sinner and I reminded them that “THEY” were a sinner. Somehow the church has lost this love for people. It is like we put a non-christian over here in this box and us over here in this box. WE are christians and THEY are sinners. Excuse me, but we are ALL sinners and it is ONLY God’s grace that we are SAVED ! Even being saved, not one of us can say that we are SIN_FREE! The churh stays away from the “world” in fear that they will be contaminated or become UNHOLY by being in the world, is this NOT where we will find JESUS! IN THE MIDST of the WORLD.Eating with tax collectors and sinners?
    With those that we have put in the box as “sinners”. God forgive me for where I have fallen into this trap and judged those that are most in need of you and your love !
    Forgive me for my incredible lack of LOVE and GRATITUDE!!
    He has been showing me today that I need to just LOVE LOVE LOVE all people. People will know us by our LOVE! Not by our ability to drive the truth into them. I have seen this push people farther and farther away from the life of God and it saddens me very much. We truly need as a church to learn God’s love and it would help tremendously if we simply read the gospels and looked at Jesus’s example.
    HOW very LOVED and VALUED we feel when we walk in a room and someone is genuinley glad and happy to see us. It feels SO incredible to feel loved and embraced and WELCOMED!!!! OH MY GOODNESSSSS let it be real in ME OH GOD!!!!

    Bless you dear sir for this word:)

    Comment | May 27, 2009
  • Bless you Geri for your awesome comments! Christian folks in general, need to stop acting hypocritical… and walk in TRUE love… and I believe it starts one person at a time!

    Comment | May 27, 2009
  • Cool Post, Thanks.

    Comment | May 27, 2009
  • Greta Farina

    My answer would mostly be yes as I love people and they know it/feel it.
    However, there are several persons I cannot be around as they are too evil. Too much dark around them is the only way I can describe it. I get shivers just writing this. However, even as I write this I have the assurance God will take care of this situation for me.

    You see, I cannot be a phony. But everyone expects hugs from me, which I freely and lovingly give, but not these people. I can FEEL the darkness in them and must stay away from their physical presence, as it affects me negatively. A hug would be sickening, as it surely is not genuine (on my part anyway)plus also can transfer the darkness to me. I am just now becoming free from the awful influence they have had in my life for many years.

    So what would you do Daniel? At this point in time, I cannot embrace the sinner, although with God’s grace, I am in the process of forgiving the sin.

    Comment | May 27, 2009
  • Hey Greta,

    Hope this reaches you. I understand what you’re saying… and respect the fact that you don’t want to be phony or fake around people.

    If you are in a place, that you feel that physical touches can affect you negatively and adversely… then stay away from them.

    Alternatively though, remember this… that we who are children of God are called to the lost. Not everyone we meet or come across in life, is on our route… but I believe that there are SIMPLE things that we can do to make people feel welcome.

    Accepting the sinner… does not mean that you will necessarily have to become buddy-buddy & touchy with them… but it does mean that you have to be friendly and cordial around them.

    Not accepting the sin means that obviously, this person was made in the VERY same image of the God who created you… no matter how messed up he/she is in life.

    SIMPLE things you can do around people you feel totally uncomfortable around is:

    * Smile at people.
    * Whenever possible & feasible, help them out.
    * Let the love of God that is within you… be shown on the outside by the things you do or say.

    Also, pray to your Heavenly Father to give you a heart for those people Greta. Again, you’re right in saying that you (or I for a fact) can’t be around EVERY one, especially people that will bring you down spiritually and/or naturally… but my belief is that those people who actually want to better themselves & want to seek God, need to be accepted.

    Comment | May 28, 2009
  • Greta

    Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

    The key may be:”those people who actually want to better themselves & want to seek God, need to be accepted.”

    I will work on the premise of “those who seek God”. If these persons truly seek God then I will accommodate their desire to the best of what God gives me. I do not know if I have forgiven them, it is only recently that I came to terms with the toll the years have taken on me. Not at all to the extent of Corrie Ten Boom, but in my experience, devastating. I am still recovering emotionally and need my distance from them until I am strong enough.

    The thing is, Daniel, once betrayed is bad enough, but years of betrayal catches up with a person. I am glad God brought things to a head and I now know where I stand, and where I am going. Too bad all those wasted years, but I’m sure I grew in ways that will sustain me in the future.

    I have no problem with any of the above, as that is what I do when around these particular people, they never know how I truly feel. Nevertheless, I feel like a phony, smiling etc, the phony hugs and acting as if nothing is wrong. Because I came close to hating them. And I took that “almost hate” feeling and directed it at me. Dumb, eh?
    But no longer!!I am thankful that with the help and advice of a wonderful person,(not a Christian) I was able to turn my life around emotionally and learn to love myself again. Thanks to my friend, I chose to look at the cup half full instead of half empty. Look at things in a positive light (although I still work on that).

    Do people feel welcome around me? I believe so. God has given me a great love for mankind and people see it, feel it and are blessed as God loves them through me. That’s what I love to do!!

    Even in the writing of this, God is giving me clarity on how to deal with the situation I first approached you with and solved the problem for me.

    He’ll take care of everything and see that those people will either stay out of my life forever or until His time. And He will give me His strength and wisdom accordingly.

    You see, Daniel, truly I am blessed. God is with me and with all of us.

    Comment | May 28, 2009

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