I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know what his master is doing.
But I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I heard from my Father.
Friends of Jesus . . . many places in scripture remind us God calls us His friends. Unfortunately, as I move about in society, I’ve begun to understand that most people don’t truly know what friendship means.
Often it’s difficult to hire a friend to work for you because so many people believe if you’re working for your friend you should get special privileges and less work. Paul told Timothy, “Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare” (1 Timothy 6:1) Those who will truly work harder for their friend are few and far between.
Add to that the number of children who conclude working for family means I get to be the boss, and the problem with a good work ethic becomes even more evident. When I worked in my parent’s business, we worked as if our next meal depended on it. Each of us slaved right beside those regular employees. We generally worked harder and longer, and had to earn a position of authority.
Once again, it looks like the body of Christ has allowed itself to be influenced by the world instead of the other way around. Because we’re a “friend of God” and John told us we’re blessed because we’re called the “sons and daughters of God,” many take that for granted. Church attendance becomes less important, and we leave serving Christ to those who paid to serve.
As I share the gospel of Christ, I never want the emphasis to be on what a person should do. First and foremost, the message is about what Christ has already done. But I wonder what the church is doing for her best friend. Jesus didn’t start calling us friends because we aren’t called to serve anymore. However, in our service we’ve been elevated to a place of priority; we’re part of the inner circle. We’re still servants, but now we’re servants whose best friend is the Master. So, even though I am the dearest friend of the Most High, I will take up Joshua’s creed, “Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve. . . , as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)