The real glorious thing about The Transforming Friendship is that Weatherhead's idea that Christianity is essentially the acceptance of the friendship of Jesus is anything but fluffy. So often we hear it said or read somewhere that Jesus is our "Friend." But what follows is a soft description of friendship that doesn't at all add up to the Jesus of the gospels and what He asks of us.
Weatherhead warns against this kind of interpretation over and over again. He even strongly suggests, "Religion has become a soft and flabby and aesthetic thing...We are all attracted by Christ, but we are held back by a thousand things." For some, this might simply be the appearance of things. We know that communion with God would afford us the freedom and peace we so desire. But we find ourselves so consumed with worry about what other people think "until in the end we care more for what they all think than what the eternal Christ thinks.
And who are "they"? I ask myself this question all the time. When someone tells me, "They say" this-or-that or I find myself worried about what people will think if I do this-or-that, I am faced with this question. Who are "they" and why do I care about what "they" think. I know who Jesus is...and what He thinks counts more than the opinions of "them," whoever "they" are.
I think deep down inside of us we know why we listen to "them" instead of Him. We have this fear that God might ask of us and do more than we could ever imagine. So, we listen to "them," limit ourselves, and settle for far less than our potential. All in the name of fitting in to the status quo.
But friendship with Jesus - the real, transformative kind - offers us so much more. It demands all...and gives all. Accepting the friendship of Jesus will make you more yourself than you will ever be listening to "them" instead of Him.