Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friends = Servants.

My life is full of joy, laughter, friendships, and love. But among the good, there is an equal share of the bad. Confusion, sadness, and hardships. But through it all, God is still good and faithful.

I am a 19-year old sophomore at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. I am nearing the end of my first semester, and thinking back about everything that has happened, I find myself in awe and wonder of God's mercy and grace toward me.

I am an extrovert. I love to connect with people of all types. I love to laugh, and anyone who really knows me will attest to this fact. I LOVE my friends. I invest myself 100% into every single friendship that I have. Almost all of them, anyway. However, many times this becomes difficult for me. While I deeply enjoy being around others and loving on them, many times it is not reciprocated. However, don't get me wrong. I say this not to make anyone feel pity for me, but I simply say it because it is how I view many of my friendships in my life. I look around and I wonder, am I the only one who cares about my friendship with this person? If I did not invest as much time as I do in all my friendships, then would my friends still stick around? Would they call, text, or try to spend time with me? Unfortunately, many times the answer to these questions has been no. And that is when I am able to find my true friends, because they are the ones who have not left me. They have not left me even in my worst moments. They have not left me even when I have stopped calling. They have stayed with me even when I did not stay with them.

But sometimes, I still feel hopeless. In coming to a new campus this fall, I have made many new friends. But many times I have had to stop and ponder whether or not these friendships are real. Unfortunately, a vast majority of my friendships have ended up being superficial, and have resulted in being a quick "hey, how's it goin'?" in the hallway, while still others have dropped to a depressing passing glance as we pass each other on campus.

Why is it so difficult to find a real friend? To find those who are just as interested in being close with me, as I am with them?

The reason, I am finding, is because my focus has been placed on the wrong thing. My focus has been on myself. What can I get out of my friendships, and what can my friends do for me? I shake my head in shame. This is not the way that I as a Christian believer should be acting. I should not be so self-centered as to want others to make my life comfortable, easy, and enjoyable. But it is my responsibility to take the focus off of myself and joyfully serve others. My Savior, Jesus Christ, was a servant above all servants. When He did not have to, He washed His disciples feet - the dirtiest and lowliest of all the servant jobs.

Not only that, but even above washing the disciple's feet, he performed the ultimate act of friendship by dying in the place of his friends. Even dying in the place of his enemies! Christ was willing to take that punishment upon Himself so that others may not be placed in hell for eternity, but that they may believe in His name and may be saved and be in a personal and right relationship with God the Father.

Jesus Christ was the ultimate servant. He made Himself nothing and gave me everything. Can I not take my eyes off of myself for one moment and give a little back to Him? Can I not thank Him by living for Him and letting my focus be on His sacrifice? I think... I think that if we all as Christians did this, our friendships and our relationships would reflect something much different. They would reflect the light of Jesus Christ. They would reflect a selfless love, which is exactly what Christ has for us.

O God, that You may help me to become more like Your Son, who humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross so that I may live.

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