Friday, March 17, 2017

Back again with Kate Motaung five-minute-Friday
"Friend"

For the love of Friends

I thank God for the friends I have and the unique relationships with each one, for truly each one is different. No two began or developed the same way. Some have been tested by time and distance and others on a day by day basis. I don't consider the ones I see often any less friends than the ones I haven't seen, but sometimes I feel like I neglect them. Life gets busier than the time I have available to even sometimes make a phone call. Does that mean I'm a bad friend?

A friend loves at all times Proverbs 17:17. 

What does that mean? The first thing that tells me is to define love. That's not easy. Seems like mankind has been asking that question forever. There are some things however, I have a pretty good idea it does not mean. It does not mean being a doormat. It does not mean you have to meet all my expectations to win my approval. It does not mean you don't have other people and things in your life. It does not mean we always agree.

“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”. Jn 15:13-15. 

This passage always bothered me. Jesus isn't my friend unless I do what He says? Well, now I think (and I'm not above being corrected) I know what He was saying.

He is the greater love. He is going to lay His life down, yes for the whole world, but the ones that benefit from that act of love are the ones who are obeying Him. They are the ones acknowledging and receiving His love. I am not going to die for anyone in order that they have eternal life. I can't – my love isn't that great. Even if I were to die willingly for a loved one that wouldn't be enough to grant them heaven. This puts me in a position to choose. I am Christ's friend. Is He mine? He always gives me a choice. The love is sealed, it is for all times. If I choose to obey Him that is when I will know how to be a friend to others. I don't have to worry about their friendship towards me if I know I am their friend.

Maybe knowing the correct definition of love through the one who is love would make our friendships a little stronger and our hope a little clearer.


3 comments:

  1. I appreciate you expounding on Jesus as friend. It is an image with which I have struggled because it feels as if His divinity,Lordship, and authority is diminished. Yet, that was how He referred to himself in relationship to his disciples. "If I choose to obey Him that is when I will know how to be a friend to others." Submitting to him is an act of acknowledging the friend who never ceases to love us and nurture us to become more in the image of God and therefore a better friend.

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  2. Great post, Mary, and your thoughts on the right definition of love are thought-provoking - and heartening.

    Having bee in the position of potentially having to die for someone else...and knowing I would at the least be very badly hurt...I can only say that each instance carried with it a feeling that I wished I were somewhere else, and also the knowledge that I simply HAD to be there. Interesting dichotomy!

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  3. Good thoughts here, Mary. I wonder, when He says, "You are my friends if you do what I command," is perhaps about *us* being/acting as His friends or not. On the negative side, we aren't really His friends if we just wilfully disregard and violate what matters to Him enough that He (Who is love incarnate) tells us to do it. I don't know if I'm saying that very clearly, and it's something that seems just to have occurred to me. But it meshes so well with your very insightful statement, "Maybe knowing the correct definition of love through the one who is love would make our friendships a little stronger and our hope a little clearer." Yes, knowing Him better and better, that is key to so much!
    Blessings to you this week!

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