Friend vs. Servant

John 15:14-15 – “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

Friends. We all have them and in varying degrees. But do you consider yourself a friend of Jesus? Or has the world worped your perspective and you see yourself as more a servant?

Let’s look at a servant first. Being a servant means that you are expected to complete certain tasks without explanation. It means that you have no say in what you do, when you do it or how you do it. It means that you are compensated in some way or another for the things you do. You work to survive. A servant is obedient but sometimes they are reluctantly obedient. Their heart may or may not be in their service. Being a servant does have it’s benefits – one being that the servant has no responsibilities other than to do what the master says.  

Being a friend has a much greater reward yet carries with it a different set of responsibilities. A friend chooses to do things with their friend. A friend asks questions that causes each person involved to think about what is going on. This helps to determine significance and it also helps to sort things out – get a new perspective. Being and having a friend is a reward unto itself. You are blessed with companionship, love, laughter and so many other things. When you do things for and with a friend, the task takes on a whole new meaning. Your attitude and your heart have a different perspective. You don’t see things as a burden. You see them as an opportunity to be a blessing. But you do have that responsibility thing. You are responsible to not only yourself but also to your friend. Each of you expects certain things. They may not be big things but there are a few expectations in a friendship. For example, you expect that your friend will speak to you whenever possible. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, right? Communication is a vital component of any relationship. Without it going back and forth, you are talking to the wall. And although walls listen and provide support, they don’t hug very well. 

It’s easy to apply these principles to those of us we can see and speak directly with, but what about applying these principles of friendship to Jesus? What kind of friend are you? Are you an aquantaince or a true friend? Or do you feel like more of a servant? 

Jesus wants to call us friends. He wants to do things with us. He wants to go where we go. He wants to talk to us. He wants to discuss things with us and help us to figure things out. He wants to change our attitude of service to be one of gratefulness and love. He wants us to follow His commands. He wants us to make that choice. He doesn’t want to stuff His commands down our throat, rather He wants us to willingly say, “Yes, Lord, I’m with you.” Our earthly friends don’t want us doing things with them out of pity or guilt. Why would Jesus want our attitude to be that way? 

So let me encourage you today to contemplate your relationship with your Savior. Is it a friendship or a servant-master relationship? Is there something in your life that you need to address to change the relationship? Jesus wants to be Lord of your life but He also wants to be your dearest and best friend. He wants to be the One you run to when things are good and when thing are tough. He wants to be the One you bounce ideas off of first and He wants to be the Ultimate say in all things you do. 


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