John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

What Friendship Means

In the Bible there are two words used for "friendship". The Hebrew word (rea) implies some kind of obligation. Being a friend means helping someone in need, coming to their assistance, providing support in difficult circumstance or even rescuing them in times of despair. The Greek word (phileo) implies some sort of affection. Being a friend means actually liking someone, being fond of them, enjoying their company and seeking them out for no other reason than to spend time with them.

Now, given these two definitions, it's relatively easy to see that God is our friend, right? He's gone out of his way to help us, and he actually seems to enjoy spending time with us. So much so that Jesus was called "a friend of sinners" (see Luke 7:34).

And yet....

Friendship is usually a two-way street, a mutual agreement, a give-and-take arrangement between two people. Everyone knows how awkward it can be to find yourself in a relationship with someone who isn't as interested in being your friend as you are in being theirs.

Has it ever occurred to you that your actions may put God in that situation -- feeling as if he's more interested in being your friend than you are in being his?