ABC Extra – Friend Me!

July 25, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

True friendship is not easy.  Many people do not understand, or refuse to accept, this.  Guys hang out at the bar after work.  Ladies go on shopping sprees.  But these times together, even if they’re fun, do not usually foster deep, meaningful relationships.  When a friendship gets complicated – when a buddy runs into a problem in his marriage or when a lady struggles with her self-worth – these so-called “friends” have little to nothing to offer in the way of support or guidance.  True friendship is not easy.

The Proverbs understand the burden true friendship brings.  For true friendship involves many weighty things.  True friendship involves sticking with someone through thick and thin:  “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).  True friendship involves loving someone even when they’re utterly unlovable:  “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17).  True friendship involves pouring time, energy, and trust into a select few people, rather than being content merely to hang out with many “acquaintances” who know little about you:  “A man of many companions may come to ruin” (Proverbs 18:24).  True friendship involves faithfulness in saying things to a friend that may be hard for them to hear: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6).  True friendship is not easy.

Sadly, the term “friendship” has been largely stripped of its biblical content in our day.  For many people, “friendship” means nothing more than a person they happen to know.  This is not to say that it is bad to know many people, but when you are “friends” with everyone, you become close companions with no one.

One of the things I enjoy doing is checking my Facebook page.  It is fun for me to keep up with a whole bunch of people, some of whom I haven’t seen in years.  I like to read about what’s going on in their lives – their joys and their challenges.  Sometimes, when it seems appropriate, I’ll even drop someone a note on Facebook letting them know I’m praying for them.

Currently, I have 550 Facebook “friends.”  Though I do care about every single person with whom I am “friends,” I also know that I am not a friend to every one of these people, at least not in the biblical sense.  For I do not live up to what the Proverbs have to say about friendship.  Nor could I.  I simply do not have the time, strength, or smarts to be a perfect friend to everyone.  The good news is, where I fall short when it comes to friendship, Jesus does not.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).  Jesus says these words to His disciples shortly before He is betrayed by Judas to be crucified.  He calls His disciples His “friends,” even Judas, who is no friend to Jesus.  And Jesus is indeed a true friend – to each and every one of His disciples – even when His disciples are not faithful friends to Him.  And He is a true friend not only to His original twelve disciples in the first century, but to the countless billions of disciples that have since followed.  He is a friend to you!  As the song says, “What a friend we have in Jesus!”

Are you a true, biblical friend to others?  If not, you are called to be.  Do you have true, biblical friends for yourself?  If not, you need them.  We all need friends to share in our joys and support us in our sorrows.  Finally, is Jesus your friend?  If not, He can be.  By faith, you can be a friend of Christ, for Christ wants to be a friend to you.  I can’t think of a better friend to have.

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