Losing a friend

2 days ago, I received in my mailbox an invitation to a “wedding” that I wish will never happen. My heart sank, and I was filled with sadness.

I know it sounds bad that I should be wishing against the coming together of 2 people who are “in love,” but I know that I have every right to do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. When a relationship is drenched in such murky waters of sin, when such coming together desecrates the sanctity of the institution that is marriage, and when a “wedding” publicly and defiantly sticks a finger up at God and His laws, I have to reject it.

I know that people will hasten to condemn the way I sound so self righteous about being judgmental. After all, we are entitled to a freedom to do whatever we want, right? Whatever they do is good, as long as it is right for them, right?

Wrong.

How can one claim to be truly free in life, when our pursuit of freedom in one area leads to an enslavement in another area in life? When we seek to be completely free to spend all our money on everything that we want, we cause ourselves to become slaves of the dollar bill and of debt. When we seek complete freedom to be intoxicated with alcohol, we become slaves to liver disease, slaves to broken relationships, slaves to a life that is but a constant blur before our eyes. In the same way, when we seek to be completely free to enjoy sexual immorality, then we become slaves to our selfish bodily desires, slaves to STDs, slaves to an imperfect sexual life that was never part of God’s plan for humankind.

When we insist on having our own total freedom to do whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want, we cannot help but impinge on other people’s freedom either. While one may feel free to steal a car, he is encroaching on someone else’s freedom to have their car safe of filthy thieving fellows. While one may feel free to indulge in bullying, he is depriving someone else of a freedom to feel safe and unthreatened. That’s why laws exist, isn’t it? Laws draw boundaries to our freedom in order to protect the freedom of other people, and that is why God lays laws down for His people too. God did not enforce a long list of commandments for the sake of depriving us of our freedom, He enforced them for the very purpose of preserving our freedom! We live in a world where our lives are all intertwined with that of the people around us. Our actions impact not only ourselves but also the lives of other people. How can anything be good as long as it is right for you, even if it is not ok for other people? How can such freedom be good?

Anyway, I digress.

I wanted to talk about friendship and its frailty. One half of this couple who is getting married used to be a really good friend of mine. We used to spend a lot of time together and he was like a brother to me. We lived together, studied together, played together, and served and loved the Lord together. For years, I thought we had a solid foundation to our friendship and that our close ties will last a lifetime.

But how time and distance has made a mockery of our relationship. 6 months was all it took for us to grow apart. 6 months was all it took to practically erase all the goodness that had been borne out of an 8 year long friendship. 6 months, the devil, and a man.

I was looking at a couple of old photos today and I have to say that I really do miss this friend whom I used to consider a brother. I look at his picture from then and compare it to the person he is now, and realise that he is no longer the same person I used to love. He has gone down a path that I would never have chosen for him, and has estranged himself from the precious friendship that we both used to treasure. He has become a stranger, again.

How feeble human friendships can be! It just reminds me of how broken and fallen our world is, that we are unable to even preserve relationships that we deem important to us. We fail one another, and then move on selfishly as if nothing ever mattered. What terrible friends we humankind make.

God, please teach us how friendship really works.

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