Joe felt pretty good about his circle of friends. Luncheon and dinner engagements were frequent. And he had a group of guys would hit the golf course with a few times a month. Conversations stayed pretty superficial but he felt that was what friends were supposed to do, not get into each other’s business.
When Joe left the corporate world, his friends became hard to find. The circle of friends was indeed a line of lower level managers vying for promotions, prodding for information or even hoping for favors. Such are the hazards of being the boss. One evening Joe attended a men’s gathering at his church. The speaker asked the men to hold up fingers to represent the number of friends you could call at any time, day or night, to talk through a personal issue. A handful of men lifted up a couple of fingers but the vast majority of the hundred or so men present did not raise any fingers. The speaker went on to say how effective the devil has been at isolating men with a lot of superficial friendships. Men with real friends are quite the exception. This resonated with Joe as he was feeling isolated and experiencing some depression as a result. The speaker orchestrated small group discussion time as part of his program and Joe met a gentleman at his table that had been through a very similar experience years earlier. They struck up a friendship and started a small accountability group that night. Today it takes both hands for Joe to count the number of friends he can call at any time.
Be a Friend: “I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends.” – John 15:15. Servants answer to the master as he is the boss. The job is to do what he says with no questions asked, even anticipate his needs. As friends, the disciples got information explaining the parables, were granted insight into the Father’s house and were given details about the journey Jesus must complete. Full understanding was not going to be gained until all things transpired but they did realize a new level of dialogue with Jesus and experienced several emotional exchanges as their relationship matured.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the example of Your Son with the disciples. I confess I have not been a good friend. I have preferred surface or superficial relationships because I really did not care about anyone else’s personal situation. Forgive me. Soften my heart to be a better listener, to hear the pain that is isolation in the midst of busy schedules, kids’ activities and constant internet connection. Strengthen my relationship with You and help me be contagious as a Christian friend to others. Amen.
A faithful father is surrounded with Christian friends and is a Christian friend to others.