Sometimes it's just too easy to go out in search of our old friend. Most of us have one, that friend that's been there in times of stress and trouble, the one that's always waiting for us when we are frazzled and desperate. The old friend is always there. That old friend is like the child's blankie. It's security. It's been there through the thick and thin. It doesn't judge or ignore us. Notice I'm saying it and not he/she. For many of us our old friend is a compulsion, an addiction, an unhealthy habit, or some form of stinkin thinkin. Our old friend is the place we run when we are at wits end or lonely, the bottle, the pills, the website, chat room, credit card, cutting, eating disorder, ego, attitude, etc..
Though the old friend is always there, it has the propensity of getting us in trouble. After a long night or few weeks with the old friend, we are worse off than we started. Our old friend promises so much but leaves us broke down, wore out, and let down. Our old friend just can't seem to deliver. We might forget about our problems for a moment, but when we've stepped away from our old friend, they hit us 10x harder.
Maybe it's time to break up with our old friends!
In John 15, Jesus calls us friends. That's quite a statement from the One through whom all things were created. He calls us friend. He steps into that void left by our old friend and fills that space with grace and mercy, patience and peace. His friendship offers healing and strength to weather the storms of life. His voice can calm our anxious hearts. Our old friends seem to take life from us whereas our new friend Jesus gives his life on our behalf that we might find life. Our old friends may be comfortable but Jesus is compassionate seeing us through struggle and granting sufficient grace. Our new friend stands before us with arms open wide and invites, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Who is your old friend? Maybe it's time for a breakup. Maybe it's time to get a better friend.