Summary: God desires to perfect us in Christ Jesus. As we move upward in that perfection, we become closer to God as we become more Christ-like. As we become closer to God, we move into a different relationship with God.
God or Friend?
(Exodus 20:1~2a) And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…
(James 2:23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Maybe there is something wrong with me, maybe not, I’ll let you decide. Many years ago, when my children were younger and while I would be tucking them in at night, I would see their different playthings in their bedrooms. I would always get the urge to get right down there on the rug and pull out some toy truck or crane or some building blocks, or a puzzle or whatever. Yes, sadly, I resisted the urge. But I’ve thought many times, would there really be anything wrong with that? Is there anything wrong with a grown man building a house out of blocks, or putting a puzzle together?
People say – which people I can’t say – that you shouldn’t do things like that. They say you can’t wear clothes that belong to a younger generation. For example an older man can’t wear cargo pants/shorts. ‘They’ say it just doesn’t work! A man that, say, is 80 shouldn’t wear a black leather jacket. ‘They’ say it just doesn’t work!
In the same light, they say that people from different generations can’t be friends. Shouldn’t be or can’t be, it doesn’t matter, but because ‘they say’ it’s that way it must be so. Is it? Are generations so far apart that they cannot communicate as friends? Can a high school football or basketball coach be so far removed from his players that he can’t be both friend and coach? ‘They say’ that would not be healthy.
Is it possible, that in our search for true friendship we are limiting ourselves when we don’t cross the boundary of age and stay only within our own generation?
Is it possible that in our reaching out to others we don’t realize that a person a few years our junior needs us just as much as we may need them? Call it a symbiotic relationship if you want, but people need people! Our very natures cry out for association, relationship, friendship, and social gatherings. And, well, if you believe its wrong to cross boundaries because of what might be, or what might develop, then I counter with:
(Proverbs 22:6) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Our title of this section, God or Friend? will probably raise a lot of eyebrows. Which is a good thing I believe. We need to have our eyebrows raised from time to time. It makes us take a second or third look. And, while we take that second or third look, we can look through these as well:
It’s all about ‘tude.
The tradition-packed churchgoer will tell you that we are making a mistake when we say we can be God’s friend. They will outright balk at the very idea of such a cavalier or casual relationship. Of course they are basing that on earthly relationships, such as royalty or the aristocratic classes. And, as much as you don’t want to, we still must yield to a fair amount of their argument. Because the argument, you see, deals with attitude.
With some trepidation we ply these waters of God or Friend? because there is a point, a so-called line that has been drawn in the sand, that the ‘created’ cannot cross. That line is attitude. The very word attitude itself can be interpreted as stance or position. And, as we said, there is a line that cannot be crossed, because God is still God. He is still our Creator.
But, to help us explain our position on being God’s friend, maybe it would be made clearer through an illustration. Before we start however, there is a prerequisite. As a young child I must have received proper instruction from my parents on manners and the appropriate method of communicating with elders. It’s enough to say that this method dealt entirely with wisdom, and not relegating someone to a lower class. With this proper indoctrination, a quick, “They know more than you, so hold your tongue.” should have been more than enough to convince me to be quiet. And, as I remain silent and watch and listen to the adults, I would indeed find out several things: they do know more than me; one may know more than others; and, I may see or listen to someone that I could envision becoming my mentor [someone other than my father or mother].