Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

11.05.2013

Doing Friendships Wrong


Photo Credit
 
A precious little boy I know hazarded playing with a new group of kids.  Spurning and teasing shut him out like a slammed door on a smiling face, and those were just the responses of the Christian children. 
 
You might say that’s terrible.  And it is. 
You might say that’s rare.  It is not. 
 
Indeed, I suggest to you that the majority of Christian young women have friendship just as radically wrong as those kids did. 
 
We speak of “having” a friend as we speak of “having” a charm bracelet. 
We see our friends as means of entertainment with whom to while away boredom.  (Are we talking about a television or a human being, here?)
We share with our friends all the things that eternity will erase and leave unsaid the crux of our souls. 
We sob and suffer through loneliness while surrounded by over 7 billion people.
Our happiness and comfort is the Lens through which friends will be viewed, the Ruler by which friends will be measured, the Law by which friends will be judged, the Password by which friends will be permitted.
 
And that list hardly cracks the door on the room of lies with which Satan has bewildered our friendships.  The Bible is our standard for everything in life, yet why have we lived as though it does not define the purpose of friendship? Jesus said, 


“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” {John 15:13}

Greater love. 
 
No one speaks like that anymore.  We don’t contemplate laying down our lives for someone before we “friend” them on facebook.  We no longer say we love a friend with great love or that she is a “friend who is as your own soul” {Deuteronomy 13:6}.  Instead we put our happiness first and use trite phrases like “BFF” and speak of “having” a friend.  We are satisfied with the mediocre, when Jesus called us to the greater.
 
Jesus said being a friend meant having a love so great you would step up to a murderer.  You would tell him, “Take me instead," giving up your life and with it your hope of holding the hand of your grandchild, your dream of journies across the world, and your daily chance for a morning sunrise. You would throw your own body across your friend’s to take the bullet and feel, not fear and bitterness burning in your throat, but deep forgiveness and overwhelming peace along with the scorching pain of death and the joy of eternity. 
 
Why? Because you love that person more than yourself or your happiness. 
 
Jesus was that friend to us, so it should not surprise us that friendship was God’s idea.  From the description in Genesis we can picture the deepness of Adam and Eve’s relationship with their Creator. Unfortunately, this means we also grieve all the more intensely the depth of their loss in discarding that one perfect friendship.
 


“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  {Genesis 3:8}

And so we have been hiding ourselves ever since.  Not just from a friendship with the God of the universe, but from the knitting of our souls to the soul of another human being whom God miraculously placed on the planet at the same time and in the same place as us.  From giving without reserve of the treasures of our minds to strengthen.  From depleting our depth of emotions to encourage.  From loving face to face and soul to soul. 
 
And so, instead of laying down our lives for our friends, we find ourselves in the position of laying down our friends for our lives, our way.  Of doing coffee and going out to a movie and never really getting to know the soul of the girl who sat next to us through it all.  Of loving the comfortable mediocre more than the demanding greater.  Of loving our happiness with the status quo more than the little boy with love to give.
 
But “greater love has no one than this…” 
It’s time to get this one right, girls. 
 


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: Daniele Zanni

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for that encouragement Lauren! It was especially helpful to me today! I always appreciate how you beautifully weave scripture into your inspirational lessons. God has really blessed you with so much creativity, and it's wonderful to see you using it to encourage others.

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  2. Well done, Lauren, good reminder!

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