Wednesday, March 15
Jesus is NOT my best friend!

I'm ticked right now. I wish I could make this picture of Calvin bigger, because his expression reflects how I'm feeling.

This morning's devotion with the kids was titled "Sitting with Jesus"; the companion Scripture was Psalm 63:1-7. So far, so good. The devotion was about a son who woke up and went to look for his mom. He found her sitting in her favorite chair, Bible in her lap, eyes closed, and he knew she was praying. She heard him, smiled, welcomed him and a discussion between them followed. When he asked her what she was praying about, she explained she was sitting with Jesus and that sometimes she simply liked to sit with him, think about how good he is, talk with him a little and just enjoy him. I'm still okay.

The devotion we're using always ends with "How about you?" questions, and one of the statements in that section was "Jesus wants to be your best friend." I always ask the kids questions about that day's devotion and scripture, and today was no different. I simply asked "Is Jesus your best friend?" As you may guess, all of my kids chimed in "Yes." You can imagine the shock when I said, "No, He isn't!" Thomas immediately (and defensively) said, "Moooooom....yes, He is!" The other two just looked surprised. I again firmly said, "No.......He isn't." They looked at me like I was crazy.

In that moment I saw the inordinate amount of pressure we, as Christian parents, can place on our children--to SAY the "right" thing, regardless of whether or not they really believe it. We force them to live a lie, and thus begins an unhealthy pattern that will last until adulthood unless something intervenes (God's grace...?) to break it. This isn't just perpetuated in our homes, lip service can be reinforced in church, and if your kids are in a Christian school, there, too.

Somehow, espousing with your mouth one set of "beliefs", when your heart (and actions) reflect another, inoculates you from...desensitizes you to...? the truth and REALITY of the gospel. In other words, you can live this life indefintiely expressing your "beliefs" without believing them, and not even realize the difference.

Am I making ANY sense here? I know I'm on a rant, and sometimes it's difficult to express the full measure of what I'm thinking.

Anyway, I didn't just leave my kids stunned, with their jaws dropped open. I explained that it was okay to say that Jesus wasn't really your best friend, if he in fact, wasn't...I told them they needed the FREEDOM to be honest about it....that I couldn't HONESTLY say he was MY best friend because often he is not the FIRST person I go to when I'm sad or mad or happy or excited or hurt or frustrated or lonely or in need of counsel or grateful or WHATEVER. Sometimes I go to him as a last resort...and sometimes, not at all. That being said, I told them at least I wanted to want him to be my best friend. I wanted to be able truthfully to pray as David did, "My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You..."

I lived the lie and said a lot of things I didn't truly believe for a long time. I'm realizing revelation comes in pieces, not in whole. Some of you have heard my dissertation on "Prescribed Faith," but when the real thing invades your heart, there's no denying the Truth...it DOES make you hungry for more!

Maybe I can't protect my children from doing the same thing I did for so many years, but that's not going to keep me from trying.

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (10)


10 Comments:
At March 15, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Rachel corrected me tonight by telling me she DIDN'T answer me when I asked "Is Jesus your bf?". She said it was "mostly Thomas". She asked me where in Scripture did it tell us that He was supposed to be our bf (it has rubbed her the wrong way before when she heard that). She's thinking :). So we talked about intimacy...relationship...loving Jesus...just the beginning of great conversations to come........thrilled at the thought!

 
At March 17, 2006, Blogger Chunk said...

Hello Robin, Thanks for the rant on Jesus Being our BFF. I often times relate music to life's questions or issues and when I read your posting a new song by Casting Crowns came to mind. I want to share the lyrics with you and whoever else reads this. The name of the song is "Stained Glass Masquerade" I really think there is a huge problem of Identity theft among Christians today that breaks God's heart. This song really spoke to me. It goes....Is there anyone that fails, is there anyone that falls, am I the only one in church today feeling so Small? Cause when I take a look around everybody seems so strong. I know they'll soon discover that I don't belong. So I tuck it all away like everythings OK. If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too. So with the painted on grin, I play the part again, so everyone will see me the way that I see them.
Are we shiny plastic people under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain. But if the invitation's open to every heart that has been broken maybe then we'll close the curtain on this Stain Glass Masquerade.
Is there anyone who's been there? Are there any hands to raise? Am I the only one who's traded in the alter for a stage? The performance is convincing. We know every line by heart. It's only when no one is watching can we really fall apart. But would it set me free if I dare to let you see the truth behind this person that you imagined me to be? Would your arms be open or would you walk away? Or would the Love of Jesus be enough to make you stay?
Are we shiny plastic people under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain. But if the invitation's open to every heart that has been broken, maybe then we'll close the curtain on this Stained Glass Masquerade!
It breaks my heart to see people including myself play church. What does it take to make Jesus our BFF. I think you answered to question in your other posting and that is through an intimate realtionship with Christ. I'll leave you with this. Anything that is HARD, most people do not want to do it right? Again, if it's hard, we don't want to do it. Maybe that's why most of us do not make Jesus our BFF because it is hard-not easy.

 
At March 17, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Chunk,

NEW song by Casting Crowns??? Where have YOU been? Nah, I LOVELOVELOVE their most recent release; back when it came out, I said there was "nothing revolutionary" about it (see http://openconversation.blogspot.com/2005/09/are-we-happy-plastic-people.html). I disagree b/c the CD has legs...I STILL love it over five months later!

Anyway, a couple of thoughts... 1) I continue to be in awe of the RELATIONAL nature of Christ...He's our friend, our brother, our father, our beloved! Each of the relationships is a LOVE relationship, a love He extends and initiates. 2) There is NO way to be intimate with Him on all these levels if we don't know Him. 3) He makes knowing Him SIMPLE...which DOES NOT equate to EASY (basically what you said).

Since you mentioned how lyrics can speak to you relative to "life's questions", a line from The Fray's "All At Once" came to mind..."Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same"....

Keep those thoughts coming...can't wait to see your blog ;) Maybe you need to get mono instead of just strep to keep you still long enough to figure it out :)

rock on

 
At October 10, 2006, Blogger Malissa said...

excellent post and something I try so hard to be careful of.

I don't want my son to say what I want to hear.

 
At October 12, 2006, Blogger Pamela said...

I run to Him f-a-s-t when I'm scared or sad. I yell at Him when I'm angry.
.... I think HE IS MY BEST FRIEND>
the problem is
I'm not HIS Best friend. I'm so thankful that He loves me anyway..

I've got to work at my friendship skills.

 
At October 13, 2006, Anonymous LeftCoastOnlooker said...

Pamela, I think you put your finger right on it, I'm a fair weather friend, superficial and selfish.
Thank you all for the reminder.
Pray that I'll be thirsty :)

 
At January 31, 2007, Anonymous Karmyn said...

WOW - if only everyone could read this post.

 
At February 04, 2007, Anonymous eph2810 said...

Very thought provoking post. I guess we have to realize first the extend of His grace in order to understand how huge His sacrifice was.
I have to admit that I don't go first with everything to Him - but lately more often than not...

 
At January 12, 2008, Blogger emilypr said...

I couldn't agree more. What a way to get your kids to think! I found your blog because I'm teaching a church lesson tomorrow to teenage girls about Coming to know Jesus as a friend, and I am definitely going to share this with them. In our church, we teach children to bear testimony, and sometimes I think they are too young and inexperienced to even know what they are saying. I think this same point applies to that situation. I do agree with the comment that no matter what we think of Jesus, he is our best friend, if only we'll come to him. Thanks again for your insights.

 
At June 08, 2010, Blogger kat said...

how can jesus be a best friend or even a friend - is this an idealistic relationship or are people labeling a relaltionship with jesus going to church reading the bible and praying
is it metaphorical? jesus is in heaven we are on earth - also friendship cant be one way and im not talking jesus to us - that old saying in order to have a friend one must be a friend - um jesus you have never been a friend to me literally - christians are not you!!! im not friends with jesus becuase he isnt friends with me and its that simple!!!

 

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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often)...love to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

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