You are my friends if you do what I command. 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 15:14-15
I’m having coffee with one of my good friends this morning. This one friend in particular I love so; we laugh and she gets my sarcasm (most of the time) and she isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions and I always know our conversations are going to be rich and meaty.
And I just love our chats and our time together; friendship is such as sweet gift. One I do not take for granted as there have been seasons in my life where I have not had such friends. And the loneliness can be overwhelming.
Now, I am so blessed. I have a group of women I consider my “core”. They in addition to my husband and close family members make up my team. They are my people. They are the ones I send my SOS text messages to, the ones I call when I need back up, the ones who pray for me when I’m too out of sorts to find the words myself. The ones who see me as being more, better even, than I feel I am at times.
And the beauty and challenge of friendship is that it requires authenticity. It requires that one be true, transparent. My friend Sabrina wrote about this in her own 31 days challenge. It requires vulnerability and trust and the truth is not everyone will be “friend” material. Because it does require sacrifice and effort. Friendships do not last if only one party is invested in the relationship; they must be maintained and nurtured.
And the truth is that as much as I love my “people”, my girls, my team. It is quite humbling to think that the Lord Jesus considers ME friend.
ME? The quirky girl who has gone through life not quite feeling like I fit in with most crowds. Me, the girl who was often picked last for sports, who was pegged as “stuck-up” when really I was shy, scared and insecure. Me, the adult woman who still struggled to fit in as a young mom, too young to be taken seriously, to really know anything, to fit in with the other moms.
He wants friendship with ME and not only with me but with YOU too. Just the idea of it can overwhelm.
Think about how He spent time with His friends while here on earth. He got to know them, ate with them, traveled with them, encouraged them, called them up to be leaders, saw them for their potential, also reprimanded them when they were out of line. In return they gave up everything for Him.
What does it look like to be friends with Jesus?
- It requires time-friendships don’t just happen they are relationships. Just as we make time for coffee dates with our friends, we also need to make time nurture our friendship with the Lord. That doesn’t’ have to be an hour of “quiet time” but it does take some effort as far as making it a priority and finding the time to spend together.
- It is a two-way relationship– now; I know Jesus knows me pretty well. I’d say better than I know myself but I have to also put in the effort to get to know Him better. I need to read His Word to get to know His character and I need to spend time talking to Him in prayer.
- It requires listening– I love to chat. LOVE to chat. I can often be totally rude and interrupt my friends (and husband) because I know them well and just want to get my two cents in and I think the same goes for Jesus, I can interrupt Him too when I pray and feel Him leading in one direction, I say “OK wait Jesus, I totally know what you’re going to say but . . .” Um, no I really don’t have any idea unless I actually listen. Listen to His still soft voice; listen to what He might be trying to speak to me. Listen to what He may want to change or grow in me.
- It means introducing Him to others– You know when you’ve got that really great new friend, you end up spending all sorts of time together and then you introduce them to your other friends and family and before you know it you’re all vacationing together, and barbecuing at each other’s houses every weekend, etc? Well, it’s kind of the same way with being friends with Jesus; when you have a relationship with Him, you really do want to introduce Him to the other people in your life so that they can also see what an amazing friend He really is.
How would it look like in your life if you were to live as a beloved friend of Jesus?
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John15:14