Luke 15:8-9 (New International Version)
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'
Matthew 22:36-39 (New International Version)
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
The two greatest commandments boil down to loving God and loving people, and if we keep this in proper order, we will find love, friendship, and contentment. We will find love because no one loves us as Christ does, we will find friendship because Christ calls us to invest in other's lives, and we will find contentment because in Christ alone we are satisfied. Relationships with our sisters in Christ are a special bonus. We need one another to be sharpened and to spur one another on to good works (See Proverbs 27:17 and Hebrews 10:24). When we have Christ in us, we cannot help but love others, reach out to them, bless, encourage, and build friendships.
How are we to love others? Jesus tells us in John 13:34:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
How does Jesus love? Jesus loves us unconditionally and without end. He loves us even when we don't deserve it, and when we are unloving and unlovely. Many people shy away from friendship because they have been hurt. But if we love as Christ loves we will love unconditionally and work to restore broken relationships.
To be a good friend, I must love the Lord first and love others as He loves me. I must be intentional in my relationship with Christ and with others and as a result love and friendships will grow. In the midst of obeying the two greatest commandments, Christ will be glorified. Is Christ being glorified in your friendships? If not, examine your heart and see how well you are loving Him and loving others.
Call an old friend this week and tell her how blessed you are to have her in your life. Call a new friend this week and take the time to get to know her better. Be a good friend.