Everyone needs a friend. I think most people I know understand and agree with the premise. Yet I’m not sure if they realize the type of friend one needs. We need serious friends, ones who stand with and for us when the wave of opposition hits. Thee role we need is our lives has little to do with making us feel good. True friendship is about accountability and defending. It is the response that comes when we give others permission to be an integral part of our lives and open ourselves up to having someone in and in front of our face.
I have come to realize I don’t always want true friends. I want to feel good, believe things are going to be easy, and will work. I know my sugar coated desires are not going to happen but I want someone to help me with my denial. So, or at least my feelings tell me, I need someone who will say that I am doing great! I also need someone clapping, cheering, and raising the flag, at least for know. Or do I?
Jesus needed a friend. Jesus’ need came when the administration of his time laid the accusations out on the table. Nicodemus did what a friend does. “Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus earlier and was both a ruler and a Pharisee, spoke up.” (John 7.50) He championed, defended, and explained. It wasn’t easy and he didn’t look to make it that way. Given the earlier conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, I am not sure anyone but God could have anticipated who the real friends were going to be.
I wonder if you and I realize what true friendship is all about. I know when I thirst for friendship I thirst for the real thing. As I reflect I see true friends in my life, standing tall, lifting me up towards God. Often they don’t seem to realize how Divinity uses them but that isn’t important. The importance lies in our challenge. Who will we give our friendship to today?
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