Years ago I remember our girls talking about their BFF…”best friend forever”. Who’s your BFF? Oh, Lulu is my BFF….. really, I thought Lulu was Mabel’s BFF. Hmmm. I would smile knowing that often the BFF in 2nd grade is different than the BFF in 5th grade, 8th grade, college….etc.
The scripture speaks hundreds of times about friendship; trying to pick out a few key ones is like trying to select an item off a Chinese menu…they’re all excellent. Even apart from the Bible, there have been many good comments on friendship.
- “the only way to have a friend is to be one” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- “the friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most.” (Ulysses S. Grant)
- “Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.” (Oscar Wilde)
- “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” (Thomas Aquinas)
- “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” (Henri Nouwen)
One reason I cautioned our girls about using the term BFF is that it could seem “exclusive” and keep others away… ie. there can only be one BFF, so being the 2nd, 3rd or 17th BFF… can cause jealousy and hurt. How many people have felt rejected when their friend drifted away…. “gee, I thought we would be friends forever; I thought that you were always going to be my friend”.
Well Jesus is our friend. He is there thru “thick and thin”. He doesn’t abandon us when we’re having a bad day. He tells us in John’s gospel, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15).
Wow, Jesus calls us his friend …. not an acquaintance or a patient, or the object of his suffering, but his friend. He has made known to us all that the father has told him. This is a key point. A friend shares the most important things in his life with his friends? He doesn’t hold back essential items: “ I have to tell you …. I’m sick, I have cancer……I lost my job…. I’m worried about my child, he’s having a very hard time…. I’m really down… I’ve done something really stupid …” As President Grant said “the friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most.”
The good news is that Jesus is our BFF and we are his. Every friend Jesus makes is a BFF. In Christ all our friends can be “Best Friends Forever”. Friendship with one doesn’t rule out others. True friendship will never end. That’s more good news.