How does one define a good friend? We all learn what true friendship is at our highest high and lowest low because these are the friends by our side regardless. Friendship can be one of the hardest yet most rewarding aspect of this life that God has provided for us. My husband and I have recently found ourselves in the midst of some shocking revelations. So shocking that family and friends aren’t sure how to respond. Interesting because response is a small part of what we really wanted, which is just being present with us. True friends tend to be present regardless of the situation and even hold us accountable. They search with us, cry with us, and laugh with us. These friends emulate our relationship and walk with Christ. Christ has promised to walk with us through the valleys and across the highest peaks if we open our hearts and let his light into our lives. The question is how do we let that light into our lives. How do we build relationship with Christ. The easiest way for us here on earth is to look at the relationships we have with friends.
The old testament shows us brief glimpses into the relationship with God. Abraham walked closely with the Lord, yet we know Abraham was imperfect and made bad choices such as in Genesis 20 when he lied about Sarah being his wife. “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.”, Genesis 20:2 This was not only a violation of his trust in God but betrayal of the most important human friendship of a man and his wife. Yet, the new testament remind us of God and Abraham’s relationship in James 2:23, “and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’–and he was called a friend of God.” We are imperfect friends. Yet, if God chooses to stand by us then we have to choose to forgive each other in friendship to build deeper relationships. We don’t get to see how this affected Sarah and Abraham but obviously the struggle made their friendship stronger and Sarah forgave Abraham.
As I pray for our friends and their lives, and pray for my relationship with the Lord, I realize that maybe I am not praying for what I truly want. I want friendship with the Lord not relationship. If you look at the difference in the definition of the two, it becomes clear what I should be praying for when praying for my relationship or friendship with my Father. Relationship is a connection by blood or marriage. Friendship is an emotional action based on our choice of who we choose to interact with through trust and support. As much as I want relationship with the Lord(and he has established that as he is our heavenly Father), I realize that what I truly want is his friendship. This is the bond that I want with the Lord. My prayers need to change to reflect the true desires that I have in my heart for the Lord. The Lord reminds us in Psalm 37:4 to delight ourselves in him, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
A relationship that is more of a Friendship can stand the test of reflecting on one’s life. A friend is able to redirect and call you out when you are in the wrong. This may not always happen in a relationship. Even when a tough conversation has to be had between friends, the words of Proverbs 27:9 rings true, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.” I give thanks to the Lord for the friends my husband and I have.
The Lord tells us in Psalm 25:14 that, “The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” Yes, we do fear our Lord, but building a friendship with God is not built on fear but knowing that Christ has washed us clean of judgement. Our friendship must be built on Love with both the Lord and others. “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”, 1 Peter 4:8.
Closing Verse: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Challenge: ” Good friends help you find important things when you have lost them…things like your smile, your hope and your courage.” Are you praying for a deep friendship not just with your friends but with your Lord?
Quote from Stayingaliveisnotenough
My gosh, Allison, it was as if you were in the room with me this morning! I could so clearly hear your voice reading your blog to me! Thank you. May your journey and prayers be answered. It seems we are all moving through life on a constant search to be nearer to God.
Thank you, Connie. I pray that my words can work in your life as the path God is leading me down through scripture each week.