Someone was talking about the meaning of friendship the other day. They were asking questions like, “What qualities of a friend were important to you as a child, young adult, and now?” One of my top answers for all of those life stages was having shared interests. If I looked at my childhood best friend, we both had undying love for baseball, Nintendo, and card collecting. My college friends? We loved Ultimate Frisbee, hosting get-togethers, worship, and mission trips.
This person then transitioned into talking about having a friendship with God and what that looks like. We listed the things that go into that kind of friendship, which ended up looking really similar to the friendships we forge with people. To name a few, you want to have communication, loyalty, and trust.
While we were talking, something hit me. If having shared interests is something that draws us into becoming friends with other people, then it’s going to be the same with God. Cultivating a friendship with anyone is a two-way street, but everything speeds up creating a solid relationship if you have things in common with each other.
Don’t we all want to have friends? Regardless of how many friends you like to juggle, the best friends are the best support. We need them. Good friends give us perspective, share our burdens, rejoice with us, and challenge us.
God calls us friends. Check this out.
Isaiah 41:8-10 – “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
John 15:12-15 – “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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.”
So what’s Jesus into? What kinds of things get Him stoked like He was a slot machine you just put a quarter into and it starts spinning like crazy?
Jesus loves stuff like:
- serving the least of these
- sitting next to the smelly kid
- supporting a grieving neighbor
- doing something helpful without posting to the world on Facebook
- identifying with the oppressed, marginalized, and poor in spirit
When I look at who my strongest friends are, we all have something in common beyond enjoying the same music. My strongest friends all care about building the Kingdom of God and serving others. I have more memories with friends from mission trips or serving together than anything else. Community goes deeper when you share those kinds of interests because both of your hearts are wrapped up in it!
Want a stronger friendship with Jesus? Get involved in the things that hold Jesus’ interests. When we jump into building the Kingdom of God, we start to love what He loves. Then we begin to cement friendship with Jesus even more deeply. We get to know God the more we get to know what God cares about.