Hopefully there is a human being in your life that you consider to be your “best friend.” I’m talking about someone that you would prefer to spend time with more than anyone else. Someone you feel totally comfortable with.
If you need conversation, this person is the first person who comes to your mind.
If you are going on a trip, this is the person you want to have sitting beside you in the car (or on the plane).
If you are having to make a decision, this is the person whose ear you want to have nearby to listen as you struggle through the pros and cons… perhaps offering helpful suggestions here and there to help you think more clearly.
If you are going to be stuck at home on a cold and rainy day, this is the person you would want most to be there with you.
If you wind up in the hospital, this is the person you would want at your bedside.
I have a human best friend. Hands down. No hesitation. No equivocation. No need to think twice. My best friend is my wife, Vickie. All that stuff I just wrote? I’m describing Vickie for me.
In one of my CDs (The one called “Spiritual Growth.” If you email me I’ll be glad to send you one.), I try to communicate that every Christian needs two human beings in their lives to help them grow spiritually. If you don’t have these two people, pray for God to send them into your life!
One of them is a mentor. This is a person who may be older than we are, but who has certainly been in the Christian race longer that we have, who has taken his/her walk with Christ very seriously, and who has developed some wisdom.
The second is a close friend whose convictions are similar to our own–someone who can encourage us (and whom we can encourage) to be faithful to our Lord.
We all need best friends.
Of course, for a Christian, our best human friend must always be someone who pulls us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Bible has something to say about friends.
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” (Pr 17:17)
“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Pr 18:24)
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” (Pr 27:6)
There are some classic illustrations of friendships to be found in Scripture. One’s mind goes quickly to David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18-20; 2 Samuel 9); or perhaps Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1); Peter and John; Paul and Barnabas; etc.
And, of course, the Bible speaks of the agony of betrayed friendship.
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.” (Ps 41:9)
But the concept of best friend really gets interesting when we begin to understand that God Himself wants to be our very best friend!
“”No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:15)
We used to teach small children a song that said, “My best Friend is Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! My best Friend is Jesus! I love Him!” Of course, to their little minds those may have been just words that sounded very sweet. Perhaps we were not able to really explain to them what it means for God to be “our best friend.”
At Sevier Heights Baptist Church we often sing a similar song, “I am a friend of God! I am a friend of God! I am a friend of God! He calls me friend!” Do we really comprehend what we are singing?
Here’s the deal. God gives us human friends (just as He gives us marriage and families) to represent the kind of relationship He desires to have with us.
Often we never really make that connection. So our attitude becomes, “I love spending time with my friend. I love just being in his/her presence for hour after hour. I love having him/her near and just enjoying his/her presence.” If someone asks, “Do you consider God to be your friend?” We would quickly say, “Oh, yeah, sure!” We may even add the obligatory words, “He’s my best friend of all! He’s the One Who died for me!”
But when we examine ourselves very closely, do we really treat Him as we would treat someone who really is our best friend? Do we really crave just spending time with Him? Do we love spending time with Him in His Word? Is He the one we really want to talk with when we have to make decisions? When something comes up–some news or a crisis–do we desperately hunger to get alone with Him to talk it over, as we would our human friend?
God really is our very best friend. The question I must ask myself is, do I really treat Him like my best friend?
If I did for someone only a tiny, tiny fraction of what God has done for me, I would probably feel pretty hurt if they never seemed to have much time for me.
Maybe now would be a good time to find a place to be alone with God for awhile just to talk with Him about all this. Maybe it would help to thank Him for the many many wonderful things He has given you and done for you. And it might be good just to ask Him to help you learn how to treat Him like what He is… your best friend.
Stay in the battle!