John 15:15 (The Message)
Eugene H. Peterson
11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.
From a place of trust the words come out, unfiltered, tumbling with abandon, expressing the shape of a heart, the set of a mind. With anyone else the words would be more guarded-- weighed, measured--but with a friend, words can dance free.
Words--sound-symbols for things and thoughts--they need to be out in the light to live--to stretch their wings--to be tested. Held close to the chest or closed within, they lie dormant, unheard, unchallenged, untried--stunted in growth or in mutated form.
But out in the rarified air of friendship they become tools for the shaping of minds; the developing of philosophies, the forming of positions.
Through passionate, intense conversations we learn what we really think--and we shape and are shaped, sometimes painfully and with hard won honesty.
What kind of a Creator would make beings with the capacity for this kind of friendship?
One who will be that kind of friend to any open heart.
Proverbs 27:17 (New Living Translation)
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.