Christians hear the message that Jesus Christ is calling us to return to an interactive relationship with the Father through Him, and that only this relationship will fulfill our deepest needs. Few realize that there are two additional paths, both flawed, to establish relationships. The first is one of selfish, self-serving interest, and often it leads to the second - serving evil for promises of sinful desires. Both flawed pathways lead to horrific delusion. The former seeks to fill a hunger and thirst with things and desires of this world, while the latter offers allegiance in return for promises of things and desires of the world, which cannot be reached without help.
But what does Christ promise us? That He will love us regardless of what path of relationship we may choose? Sounds quite thin, not much gain. But He makes another promise that He will fill to overflowing that well of our “deepest needs.” And what is the price for that? Friendship, and love.
That certainly doesn’t seem hard, does it? Well, it is. We carry this bag of tricks called vices, which, for some reason, we really enjoy hanging on to them. We want to feel important, so our pride steps in and drives us to pretend we are more than we are. We want comfort, so we covet right and left, trying to “keep up with the Jones’” as one would say. We try to establish control over others to show how powerful we are feeding our vanity. We hoard to excess, thinking things will somehow increase our sense of worth. And there are many more that could fill these pages and then some. In fact, there are so many we can never enumerate them because we are the masters of creating them.
So, what do these vices have to do with the friendship and love of Christ? Can’t we do both? No, and we all know why. One cannot serve two masters. Christ calls us to fully love Him, so one cannot fully love Christ and follow our vices, for they are the pathway to self-centered love and separate us from Him.
So how does one love Christ and be His friend? The same way that we do with others in this world. We are truthful, helpful, take an interest in each other’s interests, share activities together, play, and enjoy each other’s company. Friends become alike. Lovers become one. It really isn’t that hard, but you do have to throw away those vices, those loves that separate you from Him. Can you do that? If you try, He will help. Do it today, for being together on this journey is awesome!