Jesus’s life is a model about how to treat other people – whom to confide in and whom to treat with respect but distance. He did not share his heart with everyone. The Bible tells us not to “cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you into pieces” (Matthew 7:6). In concentric circles around him, Jesus had the One, the Three, the Twelve, the Seventy, and the multitude (in the Bible, the Five Hundred). With his Father, the One, he shared his whole heart. God is the one person you can absolutely depend on, and you’ll be a whole lot better off if you do share your whole heart with God. Once you have shared the burden of fulfilling your destiny with God, you will find that you feel lighter and freer, stronger and more purposeful.
You may also have someone in your life with whom you can share all the burdens and successes of everyday life, all your hopes and your fears. A friend of mine told me a wonderful story about his five-year-old daughter. She would occasionally wake up in the middle of the night, and of course she was afraid. My friend and his wife had read all the books about raising children, so they didn’t want to go to her right away-they wanted her to learn how to put herself back to sleep. So they would say to the little girl, “Don’t worry, honey, we’re close and Jesus is always watching over you.” Then one night the little girl responded, ”I know Jesus is always watching, but tonight I want somebody with some skin on!” All of us need somebody with some skin on to share our lives within a loving and supportive relationship. Real love, which demands mutual fairness, honor, and respect is a blessing and a model. We all need those few who will be with us through the thick and thin of life.
Have no friends not equal to yourself.
Jesus also shared deeply of his soul with the Three – Peter, James, and John. Their relationship was a partnership of the spirit, and He knew He could depend on them as they depended on Him. He also knew that they were human and could make mistakes. He knew Peter would deny Him, and he forgave him that even before it happened. So it is with our closest partners and friends. What they give to us immeasurably repays the times that they slip.
And so on with the Twelve, the Apostles. These are people who share your life and help you through it without necessarily being with you at every step. They are close friends and family, people who pick you up when you are down, keep you warm when you are cold, and cover your back when you are too weak to do it yourself They will celebrate your victories with you and help you back from your setbacks. Friendships are like a fine wine-they grow better with age. They should be carefully created and nourished.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding or a clanging cymbal.
-1 Corinthians 13
In the larger circles of people around you in your life, you will find many who will help you, who will guide you, who will make your life better. In these circles, there will be many different kinds of relationships. Some people are like a good snack. They are not demanding, but they are not fulfilling either. Some are friends for a day, some for a season, some for a lifetime.