Thursday, October 04, 2007

true friends

Friends don't let friends down. Of course in the way of Jesus this says alot. This means along with loving God with our all, loving our neighbor as ourselves. When we do this, and only when we do this are we the friends God calls us to be.

Jesus said we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us. More than just his servants. And his command is that we're to love each other just as he loved his disciples throughout life to the end, and willing to lay down our lives for each other. Our friendship with others is not just for ourselves. We delight in our friend's good, while we also appreciate their friendship given to us.

Sin breaks relationships, and true friends in Jesus as we speak of here, can't thrive in their friendship when sin is between them. Or if I'm sinning towards my brother or sister.

True friendship is a wonderful foretaste of what awaits us forever, together in the New Jerusalem, as we live together in the holy communion of the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The best we experience now will be common place, and even better surely, then, and we'll delight in it.

But now, to be a true friend in this way can have its hard aspects. Let's be willing by God's grace to do that now. To help each other through prayers, tears, kindness, gentleness, mercy, goodness, concern, faithfulness, and a heart that listens before we speak.

What would you add about being true friends in Jesus?

8 comments:

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Good thoughts. I have always been intrigued by Jesus' claim to friendship with his disciples. St. Augustine has some profound thoughts on salvation as friendship with God. We not only delight in God, but God delights in us. This truly undermines the image of God standing up in heaven with his thunderbolts.

L.L. Barkat said...

Funny that a true friend to Jesus keeps his commands, but perhaps being a true friend to another person could never mean such a thing? Just musing. Maybe at some level it could.

NaNcY said...

compassion

1340, from O.Fr. compassion, from L.L. compassionem (nom. compassio) "sympathy," from compassus, pp. of compati "to feel pity," from com- "together" + pati "to suffer"



to see the other's suffering and have sympathy with them, suffer with them. while not holding it against another for not having compassion for us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan,
Thanks and thanks for sharing that on Augustine.

Yes, this friendship theme is there, but not explicitly developed it seems in Scripture.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
Maybe that depends on what one's description of definition of "friend" is.

I think it ends up that in this fallen world the only way we can be "true friends" is by following Jesus, and helping others do so. That certainly involves keeping his commands.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I like your work and thought on compassion.

I will say true friendship is reciprocated. I can't say I'm someone's friend if they make no return or positive response to my love or offer of friendship.

NaNcY said...

i was thinking along the lines of a broken friend that can not always be compassionate when very broken and even defensive toward other people. and ,to still be understanding of their suffering and show compassion.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I see. Good point as usual! Very important, and probably sometimes for us all.