We moved several times. I went to seven K-12 schools in three States. My friends changed with each move. I never thought of myself as a “good friend.” I was just a guy passing through. Relationships didn’t last. All my aunts and uncles divorced, so of course my parents did too. Trust in a friendship and you’ll get disappointed. That was the way the world works. Right? But then, everything changed. I was moved out of my old world and my old self and planted into a new world and my new self. Everything reconciled. I saw hope in marriage and family. It’s work, but worth it. The payoff? Real family; real friendships. So I announce this good news like a crazy person. It’s worth getting things right and the first friend is the one who sticks closer than a brother, Jesus.

“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”

2 Cor. 5:16-21 MSG