“Henceforth I call you not servant, for the servant knows not what his lord does. But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (NIV)
A friendship between two people (or three, four, ten) when bound with trust and genuine love for one another, can be a beautiful thing. Usually, true friendships require honesty, understanding and a cemented confidence that shared secrets or feelings are kept safe and sacred from the cycle of “Chinese whispers.” Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, one would jump at the chance to offer “sweet morsels” of gossip to validate themselves by betraying a friend, thinking that’ll gain them another. But as the saying goes “One who gossips to you, will always most likely gossip about you.” The cycle is vicious and repetitive. It causes people to shut themselves down, build up barriers to barricade themselves away from everyone, in fear of betrayal and getting hurt again.
My SIL had asked her 12 year old daughter, “Who do you trust with your secrets?” she had answered, “I trust my best friends.” And that’s all good and well – but a 12 year old is beneath the maturity to understand that all isn’t sunshine and rainbows when it comes to friendships. She’s yet to feel the ache of a broken trust. The embarrassment of a leaked secret. The rude reality that even your friends can hurt you. And as a mother myself, with girls who are fast approaching their tween years – I know personally I can’t protect them from such hurt and betrayal. It’s a reality they’d need to experience and learn for themselves.
Thankfully, there’s a friendship we can all have if we choose to accept – and that is with our very Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Unbelievers may view God as a presence that is mean and unapproachable. Just as the snake tried to portray God as selfish and a hoarder of power when convincing Eve to eat the apple. Let me tell you, the devil is a liar! If anything, God isn’t looking for followers who are afraid of Him and can’t trust Him with their true feelings. God invites us to be His friends. And just as God had friends in the Bible who even openly complained, argued and doubted His intentions, but that’s the genuine friendship He wants with us all. The Book of Psalms is the perfect example of true feelings and emotions being expressed straight to God, no holding back. The ranting, the raving, the complaining, but also the praises, the worship and the humbling confessions – it was a mixed bag of real and raw emotions – not a continuous brag of clichés which holds no meaning or reverence to God. God offers us access to Him anytime, anywhere and anyhow. He made that possible through the Ultimate Sacrifce of His one and only Son.
So if there’s a friendship we ought to trust in ourselves, especially a trusted friend you can lead your children to – it’s our Almighty Creator and Redeemer. What other friend will offer their life to save yours? Invest in a friendship with Him through continuous conversations and meditation upon His Word. One thing’s for sure – there’s no leaked secrets within that kind of friendship.