Up Close and Personal
November 29, 2014
by Maria Fontaine
Up Close and Personal
“A rule I have had for years is to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”—Dwight L. Moody
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”—John 15:15 NIV
Having a best friend is important to many of us. We all have relatives, neighbors, business partners, and other friendly people who we work with or associate with sometimes. We have people who we talk with now and then in a coffee shop or some other casual setting. But with a best friend, the bond goes much deeper. In many cases someone’s best friend is also his or her marriage partner.
A best friend is someone you trust. Usually, this person has been a part of your life for some time and understands how you think, react, and feel. They often know your history and life experience, and are aware of your victories, challenges, heartbreaks, and deepest concerns. They’re someone you confide in, someone who is there when you need prayer, help, or a listening ear. You know they’ll stand by you unselfishly and cheer you on.
Your bond with a best friend means you want others to get to know them, too. You want to include your best friend in whatever you’re doing, and you like to feel a part of whatever they’re doing, too. In short, your life and your best friend’s life are intertwined, and you understand and accept each other in a deep and personal way that you don’t experience with many others.
Jack Zavada, a Christian website host, talks about the kind of personal friend that Jesus is1:
Jesus experienced firsthand the loneliness of being human, and he saw that as much as we need a savior, we also need a friend.
What better friend could you have? Jesus is steadfastly loyal. He forgives your every fault. He supports and encourages you when you need it most, and he listens whenever you want to talk. He is a tireless listener. Jesus loves you as a friend who wants to see you grow to your full potential. There is no jealousy in him. He wants only the best for you.
What good reasons for us, as Christians, to celebrate the birth of our dearest and utterly perfect friend, Jesus. Such a friend is worth sharing with others and emulating, and doing all we can to deepen our friendship with Him in every way. I want to involve Jesus in every part of my life. I’m willing to do anything He wants to do if He and I can do it together, because it’s more about our deep friendship than about what we’re doing. Even if it takes effort and hard work, doing it together makes it worthwhile for me. If He’s willing to be my friend through everything, then I certainly want to be His friend in return.
His assurance is that even when I screw up and am faithless, He will remain faithful.2 A friendship like that is worth paying any price for, but He gives it to us as a gift. The least we can do is share that gift with others.
Let’s make Christmas not only the celebration of the birth of our Savior, but also the celebration of our best friend! Let’s give Him what He desires most: the opportunity to be that same wonderful Savior and perfect friend to others.
2 2 Timothy 2:13.