By Christopher Simon

Thinking of God as a friend

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” ~ Proverbs 17:17 NIV

Many of us were raised with the idea of God as a stern authority figure, the gray haired old man who gave us the ten commandments and all of the other rules of the Old Testament. But that is only one side of God’s nature, although admittedly an important part of God’s nature for a time in human history (and in our own personal development) when we needed explicit instruction on how to behave.

But there are many sides to God’s nature, and the one which many of us need to be more aware of is the aspect of God that is like a supportive and loyal friend. One of the benefits of constant prayer or communion with God is that it keeps us constantly in the presence of a God who is always there to help. Besides keeping in constant touch with God through prayer, it can help to think of God as a person, and this is why having a relationship with Jesus, who we can easily think of in human and personal terms, is so helpful to many people.

Doing things with God that you would do with a friend can also help, even if at first it might seem a bit “hokey.” Consider having a cup of coffee with God, or taking a walk with Him. Pray to Him the way you would talk to a trusted friend. Doing these things will make His presence more real and you will probably find yourself having more of a warm and personal relationship with God than the cold and abstract relationship that many of us grew up with.