Is friendship inexpensive? Is it affordably reasonable? Is it free?
Occasionally I used to peek at Don Imus doing his radio show. I was able to watch him through a window in the hallway at 30 Rockefellar Plaza in New York City, during a time we both worked at NBC.
Imus once said: “I’ll do anything for you as long as it does not involve time or money.”
How about you? Do you employ the Imus philosophy? It is kind of attractive. Sounds easy.
Well, the kind of things that Jesus wants us to do for friends are anything but low-impact, easy or cheap. In fact, he might say that if a relationship isn’t worth giving up a pretty penny for—then it isn’t worth a dime.
One of Jesus’ closest friends put it this way:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).
So, the kind of things that God wants us to do are sort of a big deal, even costly. In a way, God adds a value added tax to every important relationship we have. When you are God’s child you pay extra in relationships like these:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
It is not enough just to provide for your spouse. It is not enough to just enjoy them and make them laugh.
If you’re a husband, and a Christian, Jesus bids you to lay down your life for your wife.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23).
Your best boss down the hall does not deserve your very best —but Jesus does!
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
God has ordained a parent’s love for their children to mirror the Heavenly Father’s love for his kids.
So, no matter what budget-rate relationships Imus promoted from his powerful microphone connected to a 50000 watt clear channel station, the all powerful Lord of Hosts declares to the whole world that real friendships and important relationships are not cheap. God, in fact, could not be more clear that love involves time and money. In fact, with regard to spending money on others, Jesus said: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).
Yet even though Jesus tells us that friendships may well cost us everything, the Bible also warns us that the alternative is not a good buy.
That’s good news. Everyone can afford the kind of friends that God wants us to have.
Now that’s something to Celebrate!