How To Be God’s Friend

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:13-14

By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain

Sometimes I think I should have been a lawyer, I can find the loophole in anything. As a recovering perfectionist, the last part of John 15:14 drove me into a frenzy of self-flagellation and overwork. The only way to be God’s friend was to do his commandments. So I did, and did better, and did more, until even the Pharisees were ashamed of their sloth.

But truly, what are His commandments? According to Jesus, God has essentially two:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandmentAnd the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22: 35-40).

And if that’s all it takes to be a friend of God–life is a breeze.

Fans of my blog are generally Christian, and love God with all their hearts. It’s one the reasons we recovering perfectionist work so hard–we want to please God. Unfortunately, we look at the word “do” in John 15:14, and we translate that work.

It isn’t. It’s a natural outcome of love.

You don’t have to be a
Martha doing it all.

My marriage is a good and happy one. I cook, although it’s not my favorite chore, because I love Neil and want him to be healthy. Seeing as he power washes anything that sits still long enough to be cleaned, it’s the least I can do.

I don’t squish spiders or remove snakes from my bathroom. Those fall into man realm.

I do clean up cat hairballs, because those gross upchucks defy all of Neil’s sensibilities. However, he makes the bed and puts away his laundry, and he allows me to spend hours writing or working in my glass studio.

We are friends and love each other as ourselves. We work according to our gifts and don’t expect anything more.

If we keep in mind that all we’re required to do is to love God and others, then we’ve kept God’s command. He loves us regardless. And we are his friend.

Be like Mary, not Martha. God will still be your friend. (click to tweet)

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