The Cost of Friendship

In my last post I wrote about friends, vulnerable and authentic friends, which I am so very blessed with in my life. This week I want to talk about friends again with a different perspective. I’ve been reading in John recently and just finished it up this last weekend. So much goodness and revelation! 🙌🏼 

What struck me again and deeper than ever before is that Pilate didn’t find any guilt in Jesus.

None, nada, nothing. (John 19:4)

Why then did he allow him to be crucified? The obvious answer is to fulfill Gods purpose and plan to save us, which thank God for that, but why did Pilate actually make this decision?

In his flesh not knowing the will of the Father, the reason he personally allowed Jesus to be crucified is because he was appealing to the people, and in John 19:12 it tells us

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

He was more worried about the applause of others and being a friend to the current ruler. That hit me so hard, this was peer pressure. Pressure to be liked by the big wig in office at the time. As we all know peer pressure is still alive and thriving these days. Pilate almost resisted, but didn’t. He was more worried about what others thought than what he knew to be right. This happens ALL the time these days. I am not here pointing fingers, rather raising a hand saying “me too”. I’ve been there, done that. Lord forgive us.

Many of us have heard in the career world that a boss does not want to hire a “yes man”, meaning someone without a backbone to stand up for him/herself. Jesus wants us to have a backbone too. He tells us so in Matthew 5:37:

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

We must be people who stand for truth no matter if we win the approval of others or not. Heaven and hell hang in the balance in our every day seemingly “mundane” decisions.

I was challenged yet again, and I’m thankful the Living Word of God continues to lovingly convict me, and not allow me to be comfortable and conform.

What I wrote in my journal was this, and I encourage us all to keep this at the forefront of our lives.

“I will be a friend, up until, but not at the cost of my King. I will love people into right relationship with my Jesus, but I will not disobey or deny Him and His all sufficient sacrifice.”

For those of us nodding along with a solemn ‘me too’, good news:

If you’ve been a “yes man”, repent. 

If we’ve compromised where we know we shouldn’t have, repent.

If you are drowning in a life controlled by the approval of others, repent.

If there are places we’ve spoken offense or opposition to our Lord Jesus, repent.

If you’ve simply been living this life rogue without Him, repent and receive His blood sacrifice for your sins.

He is faithful to forgive and pour out mercy and grace when we repent. He will transform us into His image if we allow Him to. I promise this to be true, only because I have walked through all of the above in my own life, and still am. Every day until the day I die I will be growing, not arriving, but maturing in His love and His correction.  Living a life of repentance is humbling, challenging, and requires boldness. This may sound daunting but with Him in control it is not in the slightest. We cannot clean ourselves up, He is the one, the only one who can change a heart. It is worth it. After all this is eternity we’re talking about!

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