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Toward the conclusion of Beth Moore’s Bible study, “Stepping Up,” she poses a question in which she asks students to rate – on a scale of 1 to 10 – their certainty that prayer time is a two-way portal of communication between themselves and God. In other words, do we successfully balance the time we spend talking to God with the time we spend listening to what He has to say.

The exercise – and its conviction – came to mind late last night as I opened Joanna Weaver’s Lazarus Awakening. A portion of the author’s latest book contrasts two Greek terms pertaining to friendship: “philos”, denoting a close-knit/intimate/genuine “listening” relationship; and “hetairos”, more of an arms-length/calculated/what’s-in-this-for-me acquaintance deal. She goes on to personify these two love-patterns as they pertain to the life of a Christ-follower, explaining how Lazarus serves as an example of the former and Judas Iscariot the latter.

Weaver then puts her reader on the hot seat with the following brief quiz. I’m sharing it on the blog today because – yes, it was at times difficult to face my answers – but it’s oh-so worth it as I think of where I am and realize where I want/need to be along the spiritual journey.

Weaver writes on pp. 44-45:

What Kind of Friend Am I?
…Though it might be a little painful, consider the following qualities of a good friend as they relate to your relationship with God…Mark each characteristic with a 5 (for “Always”); 4 (“Usually”), 3 (“Sometimes”), 2 (“Rarely”), or 1 (“Never”).
  • Good listener:  Interested in how the other person is doing. Asks good questions. Hears the other person out; doesn’t interrupt. Cares about that person’s feelings. Comfortable with silence. ____
  • Low maintenance. Isn’t overly needy. Secure in self and friendship; not demanding. Doesn’t need constant attention. Isn’t threatened by time apart. ____
  • Not easily offended. Patient when needs aren’t immediately met. Believes the best, not the worst, of the other person. Doesn’t jump to conclusions. Willing to talk things out. ____
  • Available. Always there when needed. Willing to set aside own plans in order to help a friend. Returns calls quickly and doesn’t ignore emails. ____
  • Not jealous. Doesn’t get mad when time is spent with other people or someone gets a nicer birthday gift. Doesn’t give the cold shoulder or leave nasty notes when upset. ____
  • Kind. Quick with genuine words of affection and affirmation. Looks for practical ways to express love. Gentle sweetness creates a haven of safety. ____
  • Trustworthy. Can be trusted with delicate information and difficult situations. Doesn’t participate in gossip. Will not betray a friend – loyal to the point of death. _____
According to Weaver, once the numbers are added up, the breakdown is as follows:  A score of 29-35 suggests you are well on your way to being a true (philos) friend of God; 22-28 means you’d like to be a good friend but need some work; 14-21 means you probably didn’t realize you were supposed to be God’s friend; 7-13 means “you just don’t care”.
I’m posting Weaver’s quiz purely as a learning tool. There is not an ounce of condemnation here. Doesn’t always work out as intended but if you’re like me, Christ has been – and is – so good to you that you want above everything to show Him so by nurturing a philos kind of friendship with the Three-In-One Godhead.
– The Renovated Thinker