Pastoral Perspectives

Who Are My Friends?

I often ask myself this question, “Who are my friends?” Whenever I feel lonely, discouraged and/or neglected, I tend to wonder about and ponder over this question. Sometimes, I find it hard to answer this question. Sometimes, I feel as though people are avoiding me. They do not seem to like to talk with me. I have been in True Way long enough to see different kinds of people at different times and seasons. I have discovered that true friendship is hard to come by. I guess that people are still people. They have their ups and downs. They may not tell you how they feel and what they think. They may not intentionally turn away from you but are, perhaps, pre-occupied with their own burdens and worries.

Who are our friends? Those who are our friends will not look down on us or despise or disrespect or discredit us but instead support, encourage us and understand us. They would know your needs and minister according to your needs. They would show real concerns and cares for you and uphold you in their prayers. They would know your ups and your downs. Friends are gifts of God and from God. We should treasure this friendship established by our Lord.

One thing I know is that true friendship is anchored on our Lord Jesus Christ. How did our Lord Jesus view friendship? I will address this question later. To be frank and upfront with you, what has kept me going on all these years in my Christian life is the strong and sure friendship which I have with my Lord Jesus. No one knows and understands me more than Jesus. No one cares for me and loves me more than Jesus. Jesus is such a friend whom I can confide in at any time and in any place. He is always there listening to my complaints and concerns. He is always there assuring me of His love and comforting me with His peace.

As for me, I would rather be a true friend to others just as Jesus is a True Friend to me. Those who have loved the Word of God and obeyed it shall be my friends. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14 ESV). He further said, “I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15 ESV). To our Lord Jesus, who are His friends? To our Lord Jesus, those who do what He commands are His friends. Similarly, those who love the Word of God and carry out what it says are my friends too. Let us see what God said about Abraham. In James 2:23 ESV, Abraham was called a friend of God because he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Abraham put his trust in God and obeyed His commands. He was a friend of God. Those who have faith in God and trusted in Jesus to save them from their sins are friends of God and of Jesus. As they continue to walk with Jesus in complete obedience, they are truly His friends. If we do what Jesus commands, we are truly His friends.

This is what Jesus said in John 15:15 ESV, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Being a friend of Jesus means that there is a close relationship, not only with Him, but also with His Father. Jesus will share with His friend all that He has heard from His Father. What a privilege that is! The friendship with Jesus is established on love. In John 14:15 ESV, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Because of your friendship with Jesus, you would love Him and do all that He has commanded you. You would not do otherwise and you cannot do otherwise. Being a friend of Jesus really means a lot to me. I would rather share this rich friendship with Jesus with those who have yet experienced this wonderful friendship which I have all these years. I earnestly pray that many more will enter into such a friendship with Jesus.

My question posted to you is this: “Will you take up this courage to choose Jesus to be your friend?” If you would like to have Jesus as your friend, then you should put your trust in Jesus, trusting in what He has done for you on the Cross to take away your sins and give you eternal life. When you give your heart and life to Jesus, He will be your faithful Friend. My encouragement to you is: consider it now and not delay your decision. “Who are my friends?” – This is truly a valid and crucial question!

Pr George Ang

December 3, 2017