“We have friends, or we are friends, in order that we do not get killed.” That’s how a book on friendship by the Lutheran theologian Dr. Marty E. Marty begins. I couldn’t agree more. But I also understand that friendships can be complicated and messy, and like all things human-related, sometimes our friendships need a good sorting out.
In the Bible, the books of Psalms and Proverbs offer pithy sayings that can be useful in measuring the health and wealth of our friendships. The prayer of St. Francis could also be called the Friendship Prayer: “Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 87)
We have friends in order that we do not get killed. But really, it’s so that we can live.
This message is adapted from “BFFs for life” written by Christa von Zychlin that first appeared in the July 2009 issue of Café. Today we remember Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome, who died in 604.
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