“I call you my friend…”

An excerpt from Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning

“In what may be the most stunning sentence in the entire Bible, Jesus says, “I call you my friend” (John 15;15).

Commenting on these words, St. Augustine writes, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you and totally accepts you as you are.” Is this not the dream that we all share? Someday, somewhere, I am going to meet that person who really understands me –understands the words I speak and even the words I leave unspoken. The gospel proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of that dream. Paul Tillich’s definition of trust remains the most meaningful of all to me. He defines trust as “the courage to accept acceptance.”

Raw honesty with Jesus about our doubts and anxieties, our lust and laziness, our shabby prayer life and stale religiosity, our mixed motives and divided hearts is the risk we take in the certainty of being acceptable and accepted. It is the mature expression of invincible trust. Jesus is the friend who will never fail, the faithful one who will never be lacking in fidelity, even when people are unfaithful to him, the stranger to self-hatred who estranges us from self-hatred.”

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