So, I just recently finished reading all of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Yes, all three epic works. And, I’m not going to lie, that was a lot of Dante. I am very excited to be moving on to a new book. But when we finished reading, we spent some time, in class, talking about friendship. We compared and contrasted classical models of friendship to the Christian model presented by Dante.
One of the things my teacher pointed out was something that St. Augustine said. This was something to the effective of: for Christians, friendship has to so with with a desire to see God in the other person. The way my teacher explained this was that when you are friends with someone who knows that Lord, you see God in them, and when you are friends with someone who doesn’t know the Lord, you want to see God in them.
However, I think it goes beyond that. I think when someone is a good friend, you are seeing God reflected in them, and that brings you joy. However, when someone is a bad friend the Christian response should not be anger, but rather a longing for them to better reflect God, not because of the effect it has on you, but because of the effect that it will have on them. Friendship is about wanting what is best for the other person.
However, that is easier said than done. It is very hard to be in a one-sided friendship. And it can be very draining. But, I think, one of the best things to do when you find yourself drained from being in friendship where you are doing all the pursing, is remember how often God pursues us and we reject him. God does not love us because He gets anything out of it. He loves us because He is a gracious God, and part of being a Godly friend is reflecting that grace, even when it takes a toll on your emotions.
Thanks for Reading!
Until Next Time, Stay Out of Trouble.