To Be A Friend You Have To…Do What?
I’ve heard this saying all my life and now I find it’s not true. How can it be?
‘To have a friend you have to be one’ is right up there with ‘God helps those who help themselves’. If it’s not in the Bible… it sounds like it should be.
The deeper truth I learned from my friend John is this.
“To have a friend, you have to express your need.”
That’s a little deeper. It says I have to humble myself by telling my friend I need something. I have to admit weakness. Even if it’s something he can’t give me, expressing my need invites him into my life. It gives him the opportunity to know me. If he can meet my need, he’s invested in me. If he invests some ‘treasure’ in me, then his ‘heart’ will be with me also. He’ll care more about me. That’s called a friend.
If he can’t meet my need, maybe he’ll know someone who can. Or maybe he’ll just empathize with me and let me know he cares. It’s still an investment. It’s still moving toward me…not standing still or moving away. And it all starts with me humbling myself and expressing a need.
When you open up about your need, people want to come along side and help you. When you keep stuff to yourself, you stay isolated and no one knows. No one gets the chance to help you. Or even tell you they care.
We know God loves the humble and we do too. But God hates pride. Pride is what sent Satan to hell. Pride repels help. Pride says “I can make it on my own.” “Yeah, it’s a problem but I’ll handle it.” “I’ll get by.” “It’s my problem.” “I don’t want to trouble anyone.” Pride sounds downright American doesn’t it?
This hit me when someone challenged us at this weekend’s business retreat to talk to Jesus like we talk to our best friend. When I talk to my friend, I tell him my needs. He listens to me. I trust his response… taking on some of my needs and empathizing with me on others. I tell him the truth. He tells me the truth. No spin. He gives me guidance but he never presses his ideas on me. I’m grateful for him. He adds incredible value to my life.
And he tells me his needs too. We’re there for each other.
So that’s the way I’m talking to God now…just like my best friend. I’m telling Him my needs. I know He’s listening. He’ll hear them all, He’ll take on some, but He’ll empathize with them all. I trust His response.
And I’m listening intently for His Words of wisdom. For His guidance. I know He won’t press His ideas on me. But I also know He’s cares. That He’s there for me
What can I (possibly) give my friend Jesus?
I can give him time and attention by making myself available. To talk and listen. To be friends. To “fellowship” as they used to say in church. Isn’t that what He really wants from us? Isn’t that why He created us?
I love my friend Jesus. I’m thinking about Him even when I’m not talking to Him. I’m telling people about how great He is and what an important role He plays in my life. He’s at the center. He’s involved. His name comes up all the time. We’re talking constantly.
Mostly, I’m just telling Him how great He is and how much I appreciate His friendship and all He’s done for me.
After all, He saved my life.
Question: Do you talk to Jesus the way you talk to your best friend? If not—why?