view as web pdf What a Friend we have in Jesus

Real friendship is based on three things, like-mindness and constancy. Proverbs has a lot of wise things to say about it, among which is the perceptive statement, “As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man”. This is likemindedness. We tend to reflect the mental image of our closest companions, and unless there is this affinity of the heart the friendship cannot flourish. Men may become “drinking companions” but not true friends. So if we want to be friends of Jesus, we must have this kind of affinity with all that he stands for. We must try to reflect his image, sharing his interests and his views on life, to enjoy his friendship. David and Jonathan

Second ingredient is unselfishness in which the Lord himself, as always, sets the example. For he sacrificed everything for us, and we must surely be prepared to sacrifice something for him. We must not be just “fair-weather friends” of Jesus; in it for what we get out of it; promoting self-interest in the guise of friendship, like a man seeking to make friends with the manager in order to get favours. The kind of friendship I am considering is a meeting of minds; a self giving companionship, likened by the apostle to the relationship of a husband and wife in the ideal marriage (Eph 5). It is a love which forgets self interest, and “gives till it hurts”. Thirdly, we think of constancy as an ingredient of friendship. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” is the dictum of Proverbs. And it is true of Jesus. He will never let us down. But if we consistently and thoughtlessly let him down, can we still claim to his friends? “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” he said. He has shown himself to be the real friend of mankind, but men must respond to his love, or eventually lose it. “He that hath friends must show himself friendly” is true of both human and divine associations.

Bro Moses Dhlakama (Chipinge Zimbabwe)

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