John 15:15 NIV
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
One of the primary things Jesus taught us about friendship is that it takes time. Jesus made this statement near the end of His ministry, after spending three long years with his disciples. He was with them night and day, traveling with them, eating every meal with them, sleeping near them - twenty-four hours a day. And yet, it took three years of this close companionship for Him to call these men His friends.
In the alternative, you and I call most anyone our friend. If we've had more than one conversation with someone and know his first and last name, we refer to him as our friend. It's a common thing to hear a person refer to most anyone as his or her friend. Rather than saying, "I know a man who...", we say, "I have a friend who..." Because none of us really knows the definition of friend. or we ignore the true meaning of the word.
It takes time to develop that close, intimate relationship we all crave so much. the one that Jesus called friendship. It takes nurturing and cultivating for a friendship to grow. It takes testing and retesting for a friendship to prove itself to be real. It takes caring and understanding, sharing and loving, faithfulness and dependability, and many, many other things for a true friendship to grow.
It is only through Jesus' example that you and I can learn what it really means to be a friend. It is only through allowing Jesus to get close to us and show us how much of a friend He really is that we can learn how a friendship develops. It is only through practicing Jesus' kind of friendship that you and I can truly be friends.
Used with Permission