“Instead, I have called you friends.” John 15:15
You probably know the familiar quotation, “A man’s best friend is his dog.” A strong case can be made for the truth of this statement. Currently our lovable white and tan “B.J.” of mixed breed brings much more than 17 pounds of love into our household. Sometimes naughty and other times a nuisance, “B.J.” nevertheless delights each member of the family in a special way. He greets us at the door, romps for his ball, cuddles up close, begs for scraps, and offers to help whether help is desired or not. Somehow he accepts us when no one else will.
You see, we need accepting friends and spontaneous relationships because we don’t always deserve acceptance, and people place formal barriers in the way of openness. Consequently, we often wear masks and give grudgingly to others, lest we get hurt in return. But with our dog we can “let our hair down” and not have to worry about the response.
In reality dogs don’t replace people in our need for lasting friendship. Our best friend is Jesus Christ. In the upper room He said to His disciples, “I no longer call you servants … Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Despite our enmity with God because of our sinful rebellion, Jesus laid down His life for us. He covers us with His righteousness and, as a result, God accepts us as His own. Friends of God through Jesus Christ, we can also be best friends to others by accepting them as they are and loving them with God’s love. We learn from dogs like “B.J.” how to receive Christ’s undeserved friendship for us and how to become “best friends” to others.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being my Best Friend. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)