Other than your spouse, (whom should be the very first person you think of when about your earthly friends) how many friends do you have? BE CAREFUL!!
I have heard a few views on this, both right and wrong. Some examples of what I have heard are:
- You can NEVER have too many friends
- You should be able to count your friends on your thumbs
- A good friend will bail you our of jail, a great one will be there with you
- A friend is someone who will never judge you, but is never afraid to tell you when you are wrong!
I am sure that many of you have heard these sayings and many more. Some are true and some are "so so" at best. Let's see if we can break this down. I guess I am going to give what I think is the closest truth about the idea of friendship.
A friend (to me) should be a person that loves you more than themselves. They will ALWAYS be just a phone call away. They will not judge, but would sacrifice the friendship to help keep you on the right path. Last but not least, no matter where they are, or what they are doing, a friend will drop what ever it is that they are doing and will be by your side in a time of need, with out question or ever expecting it in return, no matter what.
Everyone else, no matter how nice, is an acquaintance.
I am very proud to say (aside from my wife) I have two people that I call my friends. They know how they are and know that I am their friends as well.
Thanks guys for everything over the years!!
See, to me that is the true job of a friend. This is what Jesus is doing, wants to do, did do, and will continue to do for all who love him and strive to know him. Jesus wants to be our friend.
I was talking with my 9 year old son a couple of days ago and it was his comments that got me thinking about this topic. See he had a classmate that he was playing with at school whom my son was starting to build a friendly relationship with. My son had mentioned something about the Bible, (details escape me and are not relevant) the classmate stated that he did not believe in the Bible, or Jesus, or even God for that matter. My son (bless his soul) was not happy about this reaction and (as school boys that age do) stated that he could no longer be friends with the classmate.
I asked my son why? Why do you think that you can't be friends with a person who does not love the Lord as you do? He said to me that, if he does not love the Lord then he is a bad person and I don't want to be around him.
Ahh!!! Opportunity!!! I jumped from my chair, grabbed my Bible, and said to my son, "It is our job as Christians to seek people like your classmate!" "You don't have to talk about Christ, but if your classmate knows you believe and live in Jesus' ways, and then sees the choices you make, it may help him to some day find Christ!!!"
I through open my Bible to my favorite story!!!
Matthew 9:10-13 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." "... I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."
My son looked at me, smiled, and went on his way. I have no idea if he gave his classmate another chance. But I know he was listening.
Jesus spoke to many, and taught only a few. In the end, even the few He taught and held close, betrayed Him. He knew this would happen and predicted it. However, He did not betray us.
My challenge is this, look around you, aside from family, do you have any real friends. More importantly, are you someone else's friend?
Lord, as we approach the day that started it all, I find myself looking for gift's for people that I am not really sure why I am buying for, while at the same time I struggle to find things for the people I love the most. Because of Your love for us, You gave us the greatest gift of all, Your son Jesus Christ. I think that is where the struggle lies, see stuff is easy to get for those who are acquaintances, but it is hard to find a gift for someone that you love, because it is so hard to try to match the real feelings with "stuff".
Lord You gave us Your Son because You love us, I give You the only thing I can in return. My heart. Lord I ask You to help me be a better person tomorrow than I am today, help me help others in their search for the truth, help me, be a friend.
In Your Holiest of names I pray,