What if I told you that my best friend was a Jewish man who I had never met before?
But that he knew everything about me?
And that he was my closest confidant?
You’d probably think I was spending time in some online chat rooms.
You may even be concerned.
That’s okay. Because it’s true. I haven’t met Jesus in the flesh yet, and I wouldn’t on this side of heaven, but He is my best friend. He knows everything about me. He is my closest confidant.
To be completely honest, I didn’t enter into the whole Christianity thing seeking a new best friend. At first I just wanted friends at IU, and all the nice people who kept reaching out to me happened to be Christians. Then a couple friends told me about grace, and I was sold. But Jesus being a friend to me wasn’t something I really knew if I wanted. As is a theme in my life, I don’t often know what I really want until it’s given to me, and then I can’t believe I never asked for it myself.
That’s what a friendship with Jesus has been. Something I never knew I wanted until I realized I had it and I needed it.
But what does friendship with Jesus look like?
I can give you all the Sunday School answers – it means being forgiven, loved, understood, accepted, encouraged, worthy, and never alone. They’re all true. They all matter in my everyday life. But for me the most important thing that friendship with Jesus is, is that I never have anything to prove.
I grew up with a mindset that I could be almost perfect. Every test was an opportunity to prove myself as smart. Every new friendship was a chance to demonstrate that I was worthy. Every invitation was proof that I was accepted. I was constantly striving. There was never any satisfaction in my relationships, schoolwork or appearance. I never quite measured up. There was always something else.
Nine years after someone told me that I was fully forgiven by Jesus’ death on the cross, and that His grace not only made up for my lack, but fully covered me, and I’m just starting to realize how significant it is to have nothing to prove.
During a hard week at work, when I can’t quite accomplish everything I need to, His grace meets me and reminds me that I can’t earn anything more than what He’s already given me. There is nothing to prove.
Walking through conflict with a friend when I’ve messed up, His grace meets me and reminds me that it’s okay to admit that I let them down, and ask for forgiveness. There is nothing to prove.
When I can’t make it to the gym as much as I want to in a month, and I start to feel guilty, His grace meets me and reminds me that my worthiness isn’t dependent on my athletic ability or pants size. There is nothing to prove.
There’s nothing that I can do to impress Jesus. I can’t earn more of His love. I also can’t lose His love. That is the best friendship I could ask for. Total acceptance not based on what I do, but on who I am. I have nothing left to prove.