Yesterday I had one of those “bad, not so good days.” As I was going over the day’s events with a friend, we ended up talking about friendships and we came to three conclusions.
-Some treasured relationships can bleed you dry
-As you grow older your friends change not because you have changed but as you step into different phases of life, the ones you had might not be willing to go there with you.
-The ones you often move mountains for, sadly see you as just an option.
When I woke up this morning and as I was going over this particular conversation in my head, I realised that one of the many things Jesus modelled for us is what true friendship looks like through the relationship He had with His disciples. As I was pondering upon this, I picked up 4 essential things about friendships. The older I get the more I realise just how much my definition of friendship is changing. When I was younger and throughout my high school years, what constituted being a true friendship was based on who I hang out with, who I had the most fun with. However a few years down the track, such things don’t matter to me anymore. At this point in my life, friendship now goes beyond who I hang out with or who I have the most fun with. Here are the 4 things I picked up from Jesus’ story-His relationship with His disciples.
1-In times of adversity is the person there for you?
Mark 4:35-39Jesus Calms
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.
There was a terrible storm going on that night and the disciples were in a tight place. Jesus was asleep, it could be that He was tired but the moment the disciples reached out to Him in their time of adversity, and Jesus got up and rebuked the storm. He was there for them in their difficult time. Is the person there for you in difficult times? Can you count on them to rebuke the storms in your life when you afraid, when you can’t even pray for yourself? If the answer is no then it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. Storms reveal who is who in your life. The fake friends are nowhere to be found in times of trouble yet the real ones can tell your story better than you because they were always there.
2-Does the person make time for you?
Luke 18:31Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. Luke 9:28-31 Eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.
In the busyness of Jesus’ ministry He still made time for His disciples. At the transfiguration in Luke 9, Jesus took only 3 out of the 12 disciples with Him to an important thing that was about to happen. It has often being said that Peter, James and John were Jesus’ favourite disciples and if that was the case, this is an excellent example of true friendship. That is, even out of the 12 disciples He had, Jesus still found time; He made time for these three. Does the person make time for you? You see there is no greater truth than this “people make time for what’s important to them.” No matter how busy or hectic a person’s life is, a real friend will always make time for you.
3-Is the person consistent?
Mark 6:1Jesus left there and went to His hometown, accompanied by His disciples. Jesus went everywhere with His disciples. Throughout the first 4 books of the New Testament of the Bible, we see how Jesus travelled with His disciples. He always travelled with His disciples; He did not exclude them from anything. That shows consistency. Is the person consistent? Is the person only there when things are good but disappear when the tough times occur?
Consistency is of the main indicators of a true friendship.
4-Do you know where you stand with the person?
John 13:21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and He exclaimed, “I tell you the truth; one of you will betray me!”
Even though Jesus walked with His disciples, He did life with them; He knew where He stood with them. That is one of them was going to betray Him. Such that when the betrayal took place, He was prepared for it. Do you know where you stand with the person? You see you don’t ever want to make assumptions about where you stand with people because that only leads to disappointment. Always be clear about where you stand with people. Never make anyone a priority who makes you an option, go where you are celebrated not tolerated.