I am one of those guys who gets up in the middle of the night and thinks that he can’t go back to sleep so I wander around thinking about things, some are important and most are not. I know that is true because the next morning I can’t remember what I was thinking about. Most of the time I wander off and get on my cell phone and listen to Dr. Tim keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Now I have listened to thousands of sermons, it’s a passion of mine, and Dr. Keller is one of the best. Just ask Kirsten Powers of Fox news. An athesist turned Christian by listening to Tim Keller The other morning I listened to a sermon of Keller’s on friendship. Powerful message!
It got me to thinking about two things, my friendships and my friendship with Jesus Christ. Just who are my friends? It’s been said that most people would be lucky if it took more that one hand to count their true friends.
After listening to Keller I find myself putting my friendships into three categories, (1) people that I call my friends but I am confident that they don’t necessarily call me a friend, (2) the reverse of that, people who call me a friend but I don’t necessarily include them in my friendship list and lastly (3) those friends where we are both on the same page in viewing our friendship.
I had a friend (category 2) who would always introduce everyone by saying “I’d like you to meet my friend,” even if he just met them 10 minutes earlier. Sad, but I wonder how many true friends did he have. My dad used to say a true friend was someone you could call up in the middle of the night and say, “I need your help could you come get me,” and they would say “sure, I’ll be right there,” and never ask anymore questions. Fortunately I never had to test a friend like that. Not sure who would coming running.
We have golf friends, church friends, club and organizational friends, friendly neighborhood friends, prayer partner friends, and all those friends we made in high school and college. One of those that I can count on one hand is a high school friend who has been a friend (category 3) since senior year in high school. She lives 2000 miles away and I’ve only seen her maybe twice since high school and that’s been decades! But we are still friends.
Dr. Keller says the less we need friends the less we are like God. Loneliness is debilateing. I think that’s why the match.com and Christianmingle.com are so popular, we are looking for friends, even just to chat on line.
God created us to love, calls us to love each other, it’s natural to want to share ourselves and our love with one another. One of my close friends(category 3) emailed me this morning, with another uplifting message to me. A friend who has never let me down and calls me friend. A true lasting friendship and created in the eyes of God.
Good friends do lift us up and never let us down, I am happy to say that I have a handful (singular) of friends. Friends, where we are on the same page together. Keller’s sermon, which I highly reccommend you listen to, ends up with asking us to think about and develope our friendship with Jesus Christ. That one true lasting relationship. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. How much more can we ask of a friend.