John 15:16a NIV
"You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last."
One of the reasons true friendships take time to develop is that you and I have been hurt. We hold other people at arm's length, fearful that if we let them get too close, we'll be hurt again. "If I tell you who and what I really am, you might go away." To begin breaking down that barrier requires risks. To help someone else break down that barrier, we must cultivate faithfulness.
Jesus takes a risk each time He calls someone to be His friend. He chooses us. We don't choose Him. He lays Himself open and vulnerable. He risks His reputation each time He allows someone to call himself a Christian. He places His name and who He will appear to be to the world in our hands. That is an incredible risk! But He loves us enough to take that risk.
You and I take an incredible risk each time we open ourselves to a developing friendship. We risk our feelings. We risk our reputations. We risk the intimate details of our lives. It's a scary thing to open yourself up to someone new, to take a chance on that person hurting you, to take a chance on that person betraying you. But if we are to emulate Jesus, we must be willing to take the same kind of risk that He does - to risk everything in favor of gaining a friend.
Once Jesus has taken that risk, He begins to show us His faithfulness. Time after time, He shows us that He stands by His Word and will always fulfill every promise He makes. that He will always be there when we need Him. that He loves us more than we can possibly conceive. and through His faithfulness, we learn to trust Him.
Do you show this same kind of faithfulness to your friends? Do you always stand by what you say to them? Do you keep every promise? Are you there when your friends need you? Or do you let your answering machine take your calls because you'd rather watch TV than listen to someone else's problems? Do you love your friends no matter what they do? Can you be trusted to keep a secret? How faithful are you?
If you and I are to have the kind of friendships with others that Jesus intends, we must follow His example in all ways. We must allow ourselves to be vulnerable. we must take risks. and we must commit ourselves to be faithful to our friends, just as He is always faithful to us.
Used with Permission