Over the past few weeks I have covered topics in an attempt to show you a little of what I understand about the love we should have for each other. We learned about agape love and also reflected on how good friendships are important. Following this line of thought and this series of texts, I decided to talk about how to be a good friend in Christian ways.
The only purpose
The first thing to do is to understand the ultimate purpose of a Christian life. That comes down to being more like Jesus Christ. God does not just intend for us to imitate his son. But He wishes that through his sacrifice we will continue to be ever more like the Lord in a genuine way.
Jo 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
The friend on the walk
When we understand the ultimate purpose, we understand where we are going and it makes our journey there easier. It is impossible to get anywhere if you do not know exactly where you are going. Wait, I will try to explain further.
Think you are in your home and you feel like going out to visit your father. Once you get a message from him with directions, you understand all the way you have to go to get there as quickly as possible.
Now think of two hypothetical situations. The first is that midway a colleague comes by car and offers you a ride. You accept and in an instant realize that he is going in the wrong direction. The first natural reaction would be for you to tell him the right way and to follow your instructions. If he kept going in the opposite direction, surely you would ask him to stop so that you, even away from your destination, would return to the path you knew to your father’s house.
The second situation is of a friend who passes by you and offers you a ride. In case, he really takes you to your final destination. He was a helper on your journey and helped you get faster on your purpose.
It is obvious that we all understand that the second situation gives evidence of a friend who really helped you. While the first only portrays a situation where a colleague has disrupted your trip and proved to be an opponent by trying to stop you from reaching your destination. Similarly, a good friend is one who helps you in your purpose of being more Christlike.
When you push someone off purpose
We have two biblical examples that I will briefly address to explain the illustration. The first is when Jesus calls Peter, one of his chief disciples, satan.
Peter still did not understand that the death of Jesus was necessary to fulfill the purpose. Even while trying to show love and care, ended, with his words trying to hinder Jesus from fulfilling his mission. The word satan in the original Greek means adversary. This does not mean that everyone is a child of the devil. But the one who opposes the purpose of being Christlike is hindering us from getting where we should. This is my opinion and theory as to the true essence of this passage, but this is an excerpt that generates many different opinions.
When you bring someone closer to purpose
On the other hand, we also have the moment when Jesus calls Judas, who betrayed him, as a friend.
It may seem difficult to understand. But there had to be a traitor for Jesus to die and salvation to be established. Soon Judas was fulfilling the purpose. Jesus already knew of his betrayal and contrary to what many people think, he did not try to lie to Judas (even because lying is a sin). But even so, he called him a friend in the sense of showing his godly and rational love even to the one who betrayed him. This is how we should behave, with Jesus, of course, as a reference, since our nature is much more like the nature of Judas.
Be a good friend
Just as you need to walk closer to people who make you want to be like Jesus. You must be that person to someone. It is important to see if your attitudes are leading people around you to error or bad practice, or whether you are bringing people closer to seeking knowledge of Jesus and practicing faith and Christian love. Therefore, through the agape love that is poured out from the Father, we have to constantly decide to be people who bring others closer to the final purpose, which is to look more like Jesus, our Lord.
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