Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First day jitters

Today’s Reading: John 15:14 (NIV)

14 [Jesus said,] “You are my friends if you do what I command.

Good morning!

What does it mean to be a friend?

When I was in elementary school, the first day of class always began the day after Labor Day. I spent many Labor Day nights lying awake in my bed with a belly ache, suffering from first day jitters. Would I like my new teacher and would my teacher like me? How much homework will I have to contend with on my very first day back to school? Will I find my homeroom before the tardy bell goes off? Will there be any familiar faces in class? Will I be able to make some new friends? What if these people don’t like me?

We all share an essential human need to be in relationship with each another. We look to our friends to provide support, encouragement, and their honest opinion. We want to know that even in the midst of our unique differences there is a commonality that draws us to one another. Having a good friend to share life with is a precious gift. Friendship is a relational, two-way street. In order to have a good friend, we must willingly be good friends in return.

Jesus knew that being a friend is more than mere lip service. It is one thing to tell someone you care; it is another thing to be present when they need you most. Friendship requires commitment, especially when disagreements erupt. Jesus knew that His true friends would choose to listen and obey the instruction of the Father. He knew His real friends would root themselves in the foundation and stand firm together throughout the storm.

Every now and then, we fail to be the friends we should be. Fortunately, Jesus taught us how to forgive and love each other, in spite of ourselves. We can learn a lot about what real friendship is by looking at the one raised the bar on friendship. Jesus Christ is the best friend you will ever have. He will not leave you nor forsake you; Christ will stand with you through every circumstance in your life. Jesus loves you more than you will ever be able to love Him back. Give Jesus Christ your whole heart today. He will ease your first-day jitters and that belly ache twisting in the pit of your stomach. With Christ by your side, you will know the meaning of true friendship and you will never have to face another day alone.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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