So often we can use the word friend loosely and describe an acquaintance as a friend, but what is a friend and what are the ramifications of being a true friend?
The time is approaching Jesus’ death, and he is with His disciples. He calls the disciples ‘friends’ and I believe here He gives a definition of friendship. He does this by showing two distinct differences. He says He does not call them servants and the reason He gives for this is “servants dont understand what their master is thinking and planning”. In other words there is a relationship of authority but there is not a relationship of intimacy between a master and a servant.
John 15:11 – 15 (MSG)
11-15 Ive told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. Im no longer calling you servants because servants dont understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, Ive named you friends because Ive let you in on everything Ive heard from the Father.
Jesus says that He has called them friends and He gave the reason. He has shared with them everything that He has learned from the Father.
- With someone who is a friend you can be open and transparent. You don’t hold back. You allow them to see you as you as you really are. This is what Jesus did with his disciples whom he called friends.
- We’re not Jesus and we have to be real and honest. There are probably areas we wish to hide about ourselves. Jesus has accepted us just as we are and if we have trusted in His offer of forgiveness than we can be free to open our lives to others and show them whom we really are too.No we don’t have to put all our washing out on the line for all to see but there are times when sharing with a friend is an important step to our freedom and maturity.
- We live in an a time of Facebook and Twitter “friends” and social media. People are connected constantly. In the midst of all this, I would say that this in the main is only sharing what we are prepared for all to see. This is not true friendship, ask yourself do I have and permit true friends? Remember the best friend you have is Jesus and you can share everything with Him and he always has a listening ear. We can also hear His response if we are hearers of His spoken and written word. Jesus offers His friendship to us and frees us to do the same with others.
A true friend is someone who wants what is best for you. Seek to have those kinds of friends and seek to be that kind of friend to others too.