Best Friend Forever (BFF)
In the modern world of cell-phones and social media, there is a term “Best Friend Forever”. Let us take a look at who should be your BFF.
In the fourteenth chapter of Luke’s gospel Jesus has a talk with an entire crowd. The time has come in Jesus’ ministry when he draws a line in the sand and wants to talk about the relationship; he wants to know where these people stand, what was the level of love and commitment:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes even his own life – he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14: 25-26).
Did you notice the words: “If anyone?” That’s a fairly inclusive word. What Jesus was saying is true for anyone who wants to love God.
Obviously hating your family would contradict the other teachings of Jesus. So why the strong language? Jesus is being honest with the crowd about what it may cost to love God. He lets them know that loving God may mean offending your parents or other family members.
The Contemporary English Version Bible puts it this way: “love me more.” But “hate” is also accurate because it captures the degree to which we must love God. Remember that the “Great Commandment” says: “Love God with your WHOLE heart, mind, and spirit.” That doesn’t leave any love left over for loving yourself or others. When we compare our relationship with God to anyone else there should be no competition. God wants to be your Best Friend Forever”
Is He Your One and Only?
An example of this type of relationship is when a couple gets married. You are basically saying, I am giving you my heart and want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you.
Now imagine that your significant other says something like this to you: I love you too, but I would like to love others also and commit to them also. If there are any problems I reserve the right to make all decisions. Do you know of any successful marriages that function like this.
Yes, God wants to marry you, with an exclusive relationship. And He wants to be in charge. God makes it clear that he will not share your love. Following him requires your WHOLE heart.
I want to ask you some questions to help reveal if God is one of many, or your one and only. These are not rhetorical questions. Take time to answer them. Grab a pen and write your answers on the lines provided below each question and explanation. How you answer these questions can help show you if there is any competition in sharing your love with God.
1. For what do you sacrifice your money?
The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What you spend your time and money often reveals the true desire of your heart and shows who or what you are truly loving.
Many of us sacrifice our time and money for stuff because we think that’s how we find satisfaction. But God wants to be our satisfaction. He described himself as our living water that quenches our thirst forever. Money becomes a substitute for God because it promises to do for us what God wants to do for us.
In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Those paths go in different directions and you have to choose one.
How you spend your money tells a story about what matters the most to you.
2. When your hurting, where do you go for help?
When you experience the pain of this life where do you turn? Maybe it is: Spouse, parents, food, or work. All these, have the potential to keep you from going to God for love and care.
When someone goes through a difficult challenge, who or what they are truly in love with comes to the forefront.
So when-is the last time you experienced some of the pain and suffering in this life? So who or where did you turn to for comfort? The answer to that Question reveals your true love.
3. What disappoints or frustrates you the most?
When we feel overpowered with life’s concerns, it often reveals something that has become too important. When we find that those things have the power to determine who we are and what kind of life we will have. That is a warning sign, that something is more important than it should be. This warns you that your relationship with God is not your highest priority.
4. What is it that really gets you going?
Like the things that frustrate us, the things that excite us can also point to something or someone that you love more than God. All these things are okay, but they have the potential to become more important than loving God with your WHOLE heart. Loving God means loving him alone. God will not share your love with another lover.
The prophet Ezekiel described what it was like for God when we share our love, attention, and allegiance with anyone or anything else. It is like we’re having an affair. In Ezekiel chapter 16, here is what God says to his people who have been worshiping other gods: You give gifts to all your lovers …
Some of you may have experienced the pain of unfaithfulness. If someone who you have been sharing love with has shared love with someone else at the same time; you would not tolerate it. Yet we expect the Highest Lover not to do the same. If you have experienced this in your life, you know it is one of the worst experiences. God looks at in the same way.
So in Luke 14, God defines the relationship by making it clear that if we love him, we love him and him alone. He won’t share us. God’s refusal to share our love with anyone or anything outside of the relationship; proves that this relationship is to be completely committed. God is the only one, that can share love with others.
While Jesus our model and teacher on earth left his family and had His apostles do the same thing. Trying to love God part-time or halfhearted is impossible. So His terms are not negotiable.
If loving God cost you everything, would it still be worth it?
For many people, it is less difficult to commit the future to the Lord than to commit to the present. Many recognize that we are helpless in regard to the future, but we feel as if the present is in our own hands and must be carried on our shoulders.
I knew a Christian woman who had a great “burden” in her life. Her concern caused her to lose sleep and her appetite, and soon her health was in danger of breaking down…. She recognized, however, that she could in no way alter her circumstances and therefore resolved to try a new plan.
She took her circumstances to the Lord. She handed them over to His management. Then she simply believed from that very moment that He took them. She decided to leave all responsibility, and her mental worrying and anxious feelings with Him, too.
Of course all of these tormenting things tried time and again to return. And each time, she took them back to the Lord. As a result – although the outward circumstances did not change – her soul began to experience perfect peace in the midst of trouble.
She rejoiced at having entered into such a practical secret of the spiritual life. And from that time, she set this as her goal. Never to carry her own burdens nor to manage her own affairs, but to hand them over as fast as they arose to the divine Burden-bearer.
The same secret, which was so effective in dealing with outward circumstances, she began to apply to her inward life – because, in fact, her moods and emotions were even more utterly unmanageable. So, she abandoned her whole self to the Lord, all that she was, as well as all that she had. She believed that He took what she committed to Him, and determined that she would cease fretting and worrying.
And so she felt a new light dawning within, and felt flooded with the gladness that comes when we know we belong to God. By applying this simple secret, she discovered it is possible to obey God’s loving commandment, contained in the words. “Do not worry about anything.”
The inevitable result is that the peace of God, which comes when we step beyond our understanding and into trust, will take hold of our heart and mind.
(From “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life” by Hannah W. Smith in Safe Within Your Love)