What A Friend

It’s so hard for us to accept help from people, isn’t it?

For various reasons, the physical logistics of getting our daughter to and from school were overwhelming. When school started this semester someone proposed a plan to help make our school drop-offs and pick-ups a lot easier. It was a good plan to fill a real need. Even though it was obvious that I needed my friend’s help, it was still hard for me to say yes.

During a particularly dark time when I was struggling (and choosing not to struggle) with bitterness, a dear sister called me regularly to pray with me and ask me hard questions about my heart and my choices. This was real help for a real need. But still—it was hard for me to say yes. And it was hard for me to keep saying yes by answering my phone, returning text messages, and answering her honestly.

Each of us has limitations, weaknesses, and blindspots. You would think that it would be like second nature for us to fill in the gaps with help from others. But we like to pretend we are self-sufficient and look omni-competent in the eyes of others. It’s commonly said that there is no shame in asking for help. But pride stubbornly blocks the door for shame to exit.

Pride is no virtue. It is hell-bent on our destruction. Pride is part of “the course of this world,” promoting our entrapment of slavery to sin. Pride dupes us into believing that if we work to preserve it, we preserve ourselves. Pride desires no savior because pride pretends to be the savior. Pride is an obstacle to accepting the help we need from our friends. We wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone, right?

We need friends who can see through pride’s façade of selflessness and dive in to help us. We need to be those friends to others. Do you have friends like this? Praise God for them! They image the greatest Friend anyone could ever have.

Why Do We Sing So Many Songs About Jesus’ Blood?

We have a need that is more desperate than our need for help from others in day-to-day life. As omni-competent as we may feel, we are powerless to save ourselves from our sin. We don’t just need “a little help from our friends” and we don’t just need assistance to “fill in the gaps.” We need a Rescuer. A few weeks ago a visitor to our church asked me, “Why do you sing so many songs about Jesus’ blood?” In short, here was my answer: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus served us by giving his own life to pay the penalty for our sin. He is the Ultimate Friend who sees through our sham of self-sufficiency, and he has the power to save us to the uttermost. Even while we were dead in our sin, scorned the idea of a Savior, and said in our prideful hearts, “I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you, Jesus”… he went to the cross anyway. The cross was no mere inconvenience, for on the cross Christ paid the ultimate price and shed his own blood so that his enemies could become his friends. This was his intention since before the world began—“the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

What a Friend we have in Jesus!