(I have been wanting to do a series of posts about friendship, and specifically about being a friend of God. This is the next-to-last post of the series. Previous posts are listed below.)
I mention my 3 closest friends throughout this blog. They are remarkable men, each in his own way. They don’t think that they are, which makes them all the more endearing. There are deep pools of light and life in each of them. They have taught me more about selfless friendship and gratuitous love than they realize.
We share life, memories, (a lot of) food, and our personal experiences on this incredible spiritual journey. However… each of us is a “perfectly imperfect” human being who occasionally finds a way to face-plant right into a faux pas. We share those too. But we don’t keep score.
The intention for Being A Friend series was always to land at: being a friend of God. It isn’t something I have longed for over the years; the desire came only after I met Jesus. I believe it is the result of Him working in me, transforming me into a friend.
When we surrender ourselves to His unlimited love, God accepts us just like we are, no matter what we’ve done or said or thought. But change is a-comin’. Even so, being transformed from rebel to friend might take a while.
Much of this series is applicable to being a friend to God:
- Being A Friend – Accepting others as-is. God accepts me as-is; shouldn’t I do the same?
- Becoming A Very Good Friend – My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. Am I willing to do that for my friends?
- Being A Very Good Friend – The art of being a very good friend requires practice.
- Best Friends: Sacred Ground – Being willing to invite others into the secret places of our heart.
- Best Friends: Holy Influence – Being open to the influence of those closest to us.
- Best Friends: Long, Long Journey – part 1 – Living out a shared life, with God.
- Best Friends: Long, Long Journey – part 2 – Endurance is a trait of being best friends. After all, eternity is a long time.
- Best Friends: Making Memories – A life worth remembering: living and loving abundantly.
- Best Friends: Offerings – God gives us His best: Himself. Can we do the same for Him and our other friends?
This week I met with a man who is gravely troubled by the injustices in the world. I longed to tell him it will be alright but the truth is people will continue to find ways to damage others until the end of this age. I suggested he, like all of us, needs friends to remind him of the good stuff too. And that God is good all the time, regardless of how much we protest.
Even in the midst of our great tragedies, crimes and injustices… God accepts and loves us, and made a way for us to be in a friendship with Him. God has been a friend to us long before we think of being a friend to Him. Even as humanity was busy murdering the Savior of the world, He demonstrated His passion to reconcile us to Himself:
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Friends forgive each other.
I am muddling my way in this God-friendship. I think it is what Jesus explained in John 15:7-13:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”