Friday, July 15, 2011

Friends with Benefits

I’m writing poolside, watching my Boy and his BFF tackle an inflatable Ogopogo (the Canadian version of the Lochness Monster, who according to myth lives in the Okanagan Lake). I like his friend and I give kudos to my Boy for picking a good friend. Good friends are important. They can either encourage us to do good things, or they can bring destruction upon us.

We are still exploring the theme of identity, which has been our topic for the entire month of July (if you’ve missed some of the previous posts, click here or here to get caught up).

If God says something is not good, we’re wise to take notice. In the first chapter and a half of the Bible everything God made was called good but in Genesis 2:18 God says something is not good for the first time – it’s not good for man to be alone.  Hold up. Is God saying that man, in this case, Adam, needs more relationship than just God? Hmm, that’s an interesting thought to ponder. Since I can’t cover the theological implications in less than 500 words we are going to assume that it is God’s purpose and design to be in relationship with others. Friendship is part of our identity. 

Okay, so we reason that friendship is God’s idea because he told us it wasn’t good for man to be alone and he had his own friends – Abraham and Moses.  Scripture also says quite a lot about who should be in our company and why:

Proverbs 22:11, He how loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.

Hebrews 10:24, And let us consider how we may spur one another onto love and good deeds.

Proverbs 22:24, Do make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

All of that is good to take notice of; most people will not argue with a. Humanity’s need for friendship and b. Our need for good quality friends, but there is more. Alanis Morissette may have coined the phrase, “friends with benefits” and Angelina Jolie (pre Brad Pitt and family woman public image) may have made is socially acceptable to publicly speak about her “friends” but Jesus first described the true benefit of being friends – so that we know what he is doing. 

A master/servant relationship is different than friendship. A servant doesn’t know what the master is planning but friendship puts us on a more equal grid – something many of us feel uncomfortable, considering ourselves equal to Jesus and yet, Scripture doesn’t lie. The Father wants to share his plans with us because if we do what he commands, we are called a friend of God. To me, that is astonishing – the words of David come to mind, “Who is man that you are mindful of him?”  

What do you think the purpose of friendship is for? Are you a friend of God?
                

picture found at awkward family photos

i’m an outsider by choice, she said, but i’m hoping that won’t be my choice forever. ~StoryPeople

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