Good friends give us the
freedom to be who we are and to become our best selves. They help to
disentangle us from ways of thinking and feeling which hinder us from reaching
our full potential. They encourage us to break away from expectations and
demands which chain us to an identity that isn’t ours. They believe, and help
us to believe, that we can unlock the prison of self-defeating patterns which
walls us off from happiness. Real friends never try to dampen-us down, throttle
us back, or hem us in. 

Love longs for the
liberation of the beloved; it desires freedom for a friend. Real friends want one
another to experience lighthearted joy—the joy of hearts unshackled from doubt
about their worth and unburdened by fear of engaging life. 
I hope you have experienced
that kind of friendship.  It’s a rare and
priceless gift.
And, it’s a gift Jesus
offers us.  On the night before his
death, Jesus gathered his followers around him and blessed them with these
remarkable words: “You are my friends. . . I do not call you servants any
longer. . .  I have called you
The old gospel song got it
right: “What a friend we have in Jesus.” 
He dearly cherishes, deeply values, and wholeheartedly delights in us.  He has inexhaustible and unconditional love
for us, and he wants us to receive, depend on, and rest in that love.  Amazing.