A Friend

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14 ESV).

I recently saw a wonderful quote: “No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” I don’t know who wrote it, but it seems to summarize a very important principle especially at this time of the year. We all want to believe that we don’t start over; but we begin again right where we are, making things better in our lives.

The common wisdom is that all believers should constantly develop a stronger commitment to do better or at least try harder. The truth is that our lives in Christ simply are not about the things we do or don’t do. I’ve had plenty of time to think through all of the things I’ve done and find the resulting thought disappointing at best. The real satisfaction comes from my knowing that as I fall deeper and deeper in love with Him, He makes my way perfect. My focus changes to the things of heaven and not on all this earthly stuff.

If I were to make a New Year resolution, it would be to have a deeper commitment, a deeper love, and a deeper worship for the Lord. The Lord is consistently reminding me that He is more than enough in every area of your life. He is that kind of “friend.” When I go deeper into the background of the verses of our reading today, I am amazed that Jesus knew what was immediately before Him and still went to the cross for us, simply because of His love. Looking into the eyes of these eleven men, one having already left to betray him and another who would do the same before the night was over, he gently reminds them of the importance of loving one another. How tragically we fall short of this simple commandment. It is often inconvenient and troublesome to love someone like that. I find I usually want to love the folks who agree with me and forget those who don’t. Sometimes I treat Jesus the same way. I like the Scripture when it agrees with my way, but dismiss it when it doesn’t.

Just a week ago, when Mary and I celebrated our 45th anniversary, I remembered some of those times when we didn’t really agree. Wonder how long we would have been able to have continued walking together if that would have been the criteria for doing so? I don’t have to agree, nor does she; we simply need to be agreeable. After all, this is the real definition of intimacy.

Well, perhaps you want a new ending this year. If you’re not a Christian, please know that this could be the best New Year of your life. Your life can be filled with hope and peace. To know what the ending will be is an extra bonus. If you are a Christian and you feel stagnate in your relationship with the Lord, then now is the time to rekindle the love affair with Him. The real ending in our life will be when Jesus says well done my good and faithful servant. That statement will be for someone who took the time to get to know Him, love Him, and truly be His friend. That person will be a friend to others. How about that for a new ending?