One of life’s joys for us is to be with friends in a relaxing environment. Whether out walking, drinking coffee together or sharing a meal around a table. Being together with those who are close in heart adds something extra to our lives which is both real and satisfying. True friendship involves an exchange of life whether verbal or non verbal and ultimately involves laying down our lives for one another in order to come to that place in our relationship.
JESUS SHOWS US THE WAY
Jesus takes the lead in showing us what friendship is really all about. He models it for us in such a way that there should be no doubt in our minds what it looks like. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” And yet sadly, for many Christians, their world can be one of the loneliest places to live and friendship with things rather than people becomes a priority. It doesn’t have to be like that. Jesus speaks plainly to us. “You are my friends if you do what I command.” He later says, “This is my command: Love each other.”
HE SETS THE PACE AND POURS OUT HIS GRACE
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” This is the standard that Jesus sets for true friendship. Laying down our lives for our friends! Impossible for us, but, doable with his help. Jesus, knowing exactly what is in our hearts, looks us squarely in the eyes and says I want you to know how much I value your friendship. I want you to know just how much it means to me when you take the time to be alone with me. I desire to be with you more than anything else. You are always in my thoughts.
His Church is a family of friends whose hearts have been captivated by a higher affection and who are learning to lay down the unimportant things. May we be deeply encouraged and mindful of our calling to walk this way.
I know we know these things but as Peter says, “I have written them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”