Friend Request

It’s very ironic to me that it’s called a “friend request” om Facebook.  The word friend has almost become as meaningless as the word love in our society.  We throw both terms around so often that they have been watered down past the point of recognition.  Somewhere along the way we have lost what it means to be in friendship with another person.

Jesus had a very different understanding of friendship: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (jn 15:13)  That definition encompasses a little more than a click of a button or a text conversation.  It requires us to get out of the mode of thinking of self at all times.  Don’t get me wrong, that is a hard habit to break.  After all, we are with ourselves all day long.  We see ourselves in the mirror, drive with ourselves, eat all of our meals with ourselves and sleep with ourselves.  It is natural to get caught up in thinking we are the most important thing going.  Jesus knows that is our tendency, so he gave us this tall order to live by.  In this simple, yet powerful statement we see characteristics that are required of a true friend: investment of time, sacrifice, selflessness.  These requirements are worlds apart from the words used to describe a friend in our world today, but Jesus’ prescription is still the way to go.

As we say yes to “friend requests” this week or are tempted to look at our friend count, may we consider what it really means to be a friend to those around us…

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