This little saying is one that my mum loved to use throughout my childhood whenever I’d been involved in an argument with my sisters. Even if I’d clearly caused the problem I would always find a way to pin the blame on someone else. I was always the shining angel victimised by my siblings. My mum saw straight through this though. She knew that in many situations there were no innocent parties – each of us had played our part in causing a big upset, so she would whack out her favourite phrase and make us all feel embarrassed.
Like arguments, relationships take two to tango. Real friendships can’t be one-way – they only exist when people are actively involved in each other’s lives. They can be amazing and fun but they also require loyalty, sacrifice, and sometimes choosing to do things we would rather not. When someone stops investing in a friendship, it can cause incredible hurt to whoever has been dropped.
Real friendships can’t be one-way – they only exist when people are actively involved in each other’s lives.
This concept of relationship has really challenged me about my own friendship with God. How often do I become lazy in my faith and forget to invest?
Jesus has done everything for us. He gave up His own life because He was determined that we would be able to get to know the Father. There’s absolutely nothing that we can do, wrong or right, that can change the way God sees us because of that sacrifice. If we accept Him into our lives then we’re secure in His salvation. It is finished. But our relationship with God is so much more than a contract.
God is actively interested in you. He loves us deeply but He also really, really likes us. He sees all of our potential and He’s excited by us. Even though He’s so powerful and huge and holy He’s desperate for closeness with us.
When we’ve experienced the love of God our heart’s response should be to love Him in return and to develop the friendship we have with Him. When we love someone we don’t sit back and ignore them, we want to spend quality time with them and get to know them more. James 4v8 says “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” This is how I want to be with God. I want to purposefully press into Him that I might experience closeness with Him.
“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” – Francis Chan
Sometimes it can feel hard to make time to seek God with no agenda. Our lives can feel so busy, and we can have lots of priorities that crowd out our time with God. Yet there are millions of other Christians around the world who have much bigger excuses to neglect God. For them, seeking God is a real risk that can see them fined, imprisoned, or even killed if discovered. But still they are determined to grow as Christians, to meet together in fellowship and to study the bible. They’re an example to us of what being God’s friend no matter the cost looks like.
Instead of focusing on what we can gain from God maybe we should look to what we can do for Him. Maybe we can ask Him how we can get involved in His plans rather than asking Him to bless ours.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.