Thursday March 17, 2011
True friendships are in short supply today. Or could it be that my skills as a friend is something that needs to be worked on. When I think of the friends that I would call my friends, I experience joy in my heart to think of the wonderful people they are and the encouragement they have brought my way. They have been there for me when times were tough. They have given me a call to see how I am doing or have offered me some direction when I had questions of where to turn. They have at times challenged me when I needed to be challenged. I do have wonderful friends.
My question today is whether or not I am the best friend to them when they are in times of need. As I was reading this morning in II Samuel 23 I came across an incident where David was thirsty for water. Three of his friends found out about his need and went to get water for him. Not only did they go and get water, but they risked their lives to do so. The Israelites were at the time fighting the Philistines and the only water around was being guarded by the Philistines. “So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the lord (II Samuel 23:24).” David’s three friends were willing to sacrifice their lives to supply water for their thirsty friend. David poured out the water on the ground. He saw that their sacrifice was much greater then his need.
Jesus speaks to this kind of love when He says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus Christ loved you and me enough to lay down his life for us so that we could be freed from the sins that so easily entangle us. I would like to be able to have this kind of sacrificial kind of love for my friends, but when I take an honest look at my commitment to my friends, I wonder how good a friend am I. Would I be willing to sacrifice myself for my friend so that their needs could be met? Is my focus so much on myself that I am not sensitive to the needs of my friends around me?
Sometimes on this journey we have to ask the hard questions and come to some sobering truths about ourselves. I’ve got a long way to go on this journey.