3 Friendship Tips for Your Relationship with Jesus
In the Gospel, we hear something special from our Lord:
I have called you friends.
Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that he does not call us slaves; he calls us his friends. He doesn't want to force his Word upon us or make us do things against our will. Like a true friend, he wants to work with us and inspire us to strive for holiness while walking with us along the way.
But do we call Jesus friend? Do we welcome his company and guidance, delighting in him and staying in touch with him? Or do we leave him in the dust when he offers to walk with us?
We've probably all had the experience of wanting to be someone's friend, or calling someone a friend, and being rejected by them or coming to the realization that they don't reciprocate the feeling. It's a hurtful experience. When we do this to Jesus, he's not defeated like we can often be, but he is saddened. It's not what he hoped for us. When he calls us by name, he's holding his hand out to us. Do we ignore it or only halfheartedly take it?
Take a moment to reflect on these three tips to help your friendship with Jesus:
Do you hate it when someone doesn't respond to your text/phone call/Facebook message? When you try to keep in touch with a friend, it gets frustrating if they never respond. Obviously people make honest mistakes and forget to respond, but that doesn't change the way it feels to call someone and be ignored. Be a true friend to Jesus and respond to him. When he calls out to you through grace (in the Sacraments, in an encounter with another person, through nature, etc.), answer him in prayer.
Take the initiative
Perhaps equally frustrating to never getting a response from a friend is always having to be the one taking the initiative. Because we're imperfect, after a while we give up on friends who never reach out to us. Jesus doesn't give up on us, but if we really want to call him friend, shouldn't we treat him at least as well as we expect to be treated by our friends? Take moments to go to Jesus even when you haven't heard his call through grace. He's always waiting to hear from you.
Make an introduction
Do you hide your friends from one another, or do you proudly introduce them to your other friends? If we truly love and delight in our friends, we want others to know and delight in them too! We want to share their great company with the other people we love. Is Jesus any different? Don't hide your friendship with Jesus. You don't have to take him to every party, but maybe if you mention him once in a while, an opportunity for a real introduction will arise!