«But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds» Psalm 73:28, NM
DR. JORDAN B. PETERSON, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, says one of the essential rules in life is to «make friends with people who want the best for you.»* It seems like something so simple and basic, but is it really that simple to follow this rule? I know people who have had such bitter experiences with their «friends,» they have come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to find people who truly want the best for them, and I don’t blame them for having reached that conclusion.
If you are one of those people, and your earthly friends have unfortunately not shown they want the best for you, you need to know you have a Friend in heaven who is interested in your well-being during your life on this earth. «Get to know God, and you’ll be at peace with him, and then prosperity will come to you» (Job 22:21, ISV). Did you notice what the promise is if you become God’s friend? «Prosperity will come to you.» That’s because our Creator is the kind of friend who genuinely wants everything to go well for us, who seeks our happiness, who wants the best for us.
Asaph, the psalmist, captured that well when he wrote, «Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You» (Psalm 73:25, NIV). The use of heaven and earth is a rhetorical figure to refer to the whole universe. Those who have God have everything; therefore, the psalmist adds, «But as for me, it is good to be near God» (verse 28, NIV). The word «near» entails the idea of establishing an intimate relationship. Considering that God is the friend who wants the best for you, establishing an intimate relationship with Him is the best thing you can do in life.
Now, being that God is our ideal friend, couldn’t we become the kind of friends who want the best for others? Don’t you think that having a friend in heaven should make us become genuine friends of our fellow men here on earth? I happen to believe so.
Slightly modifying Peterson’s proposal, we could say that one of the essential rules in life is to «accept God as the friend who wants the best for you, and become the friend who wants the best for someone.» It is best when both of those things take place.