Killing friends or dying for them?

John 15:13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Apparently I need to “…streamline my social circle”. I need to get rid of friends who “hinder”.

“The Times” ran an article on January 2nd entitled “The psychologists resolutions: How to improve your life this year.” I’m always up for a bit of life improvement! So I read on.

The first heading was on “Friendships”. The advice was simple: get rid of people who don’t make you happy. My favourite line was about the danger of not doing so: “When you hold on, your internal world absorbs the residue of their negativity.” It was followed by the shocking assertion, “By walking away from a person who brings you down, you’re saying no to toxicity and yes to you.”

I’m just glad that Jesus hasn’t taken this advice!

I know that I just contribute toxicity to our friendship. I let him down. I ignore him. I fail to love him as I should. But he takes the toxicity of my sins and bears it in his body at the cross. He cleanses me of my self-love and pours His Spirit into my heart, so that I know his sacrificial love. He holds onto me and never leaves me or forsakes me.

And by that Spirit, I pray that this year he will improve my life by helping me to love my friends just a little bit more like the way he loves me.