When I was a schoolgirl, I remember thinking, “If those people liked me I’d be popular, important, find a boyfriend, and fit in.” The combination of a social life at school and entertainment on the weekends taught me that friendships existed to meet my emotional needs or make me popular. I thought an ideal friend would always listen and never disagree because I dreaded conflict. She would share all of my likes and none of my dislikes because then we’d always love hanging out. She would always lift me up and never drain me because then I’d always go home happy.
She would always be there for me, but never inconvenience me. A friend like this may seem perfect in theory, but realistically, she would’ve turned me into a selfish mess. This is why getting isn’t gaining; it’s detrimental to our overall wellbeing and spiritual growth. God doesn’t give us friends to satisfy all our desires, but to help us run our race and finish life well. “Getting is gaining” may be the message the world teaches, but giving is gaining is the mes- sage of our Savior.
Scripture says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). The message of The Giving Tree is similar to the gospel. The tree was happy to give her life to the boy just asJesus joyfully gaveevery ounce of his breath, his blood, and his life for our freedom. When we love Jesus more in our friendships, we show our love for one another by laying our lives down, not using others to make our lives better.
This is easier said than done. It’s easier to invest in love that has a good return. Love that costs too much feels unsafe and risky. But if our goal is to love Jesus more in our friendships, we need to become used to laying our lives down for one another. When we give ourselves to one an- other we all grow and become strong together instead of becoming apathetic and lazy.
Praying you keep moving forward in your faith until next time! ~Sharie
© 2017 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.
You have just read an exerpt from Sharie's newest book I Love You More (except when I don't) - Fighting to Keep Jesus First in the chapter I Love You More Than My Position. If you have enjoyed this and would like to continue reading you can purchase this book on Amazon and in the Store on this site.