You Can Lose Your Friends In Following JesusPosted: February 20, 2013
There are some things “we would not volunteer to do” if we were told (on the front end) how difficult the situation will be.
For example, those who suffer from being lactose intolerant but have an irresistible taste for really good ice cream fight with this all the time! They enjoy delighting in great tasting, soft ice cream from Sonic, but after eating it, sometimes minutes later, will be running full speed to the toilet! Some people are willing to take the risk of suffering if the feelings of enjoyment take a front seat. Others will not go through the suffering by avoiding the ice cream all together.
In light of that example, I wonder how many of us would choose to follow Jesus even if we may lose our good friends.
This is a true reality!
And let me say that again…
Jesus can and will tell you to do things that will not sit well with your best of friends. As a result, they can (and sometimes will) leave you alone.
This is a very difficult truth to swallow…even for me! The reason this is difficult for me is because I value good friendships! I not only value friendships but also value what my friends think and feel about me. This is probably why the Lord has wired me the way He has…as an affirmation and encouragement to others. I love to encourage! I love to affirm others in things that are right and true! When someone encourages me from a sincere place, this really builds me up. This is the perfect picture of how we love others the way we would want to be loved.
But then Jesus says, “Speak up about this,” or “Say no to that.”
And when Jesus gives you something to say or do, He expects you to follow Him regardless of how the individual you’re talking to responds. And that can be very hard.
I have experienced that several times in my life…and recently. A good friend has turned their back on me because of what Jesus has told me to say and do. My heart is torn because they don’t see or understand my heart and motives in doing what “He” has told me to do. What I am seeing in these trials are the constant fighting to resist not living to please others (over God) and seeking to be affirmed and accepted by Jesus, my king. If I live for the approval of others, then I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
This makes me wonder how Jesus must have felt when all of His disciples deserted Him. In John 8:29, Jesus said,
And He who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone…
Oh that I would take great comfort in the Lord Jesus being with me and that He will never leave me alone…though my dearest friends may leave me alone!
Doing His will may cause even your best of friends to distance themselves from you…
But you are not alone…
He has not left you alone…