Before I get the “Are you crazy?” speech, let me just say: No, I don’t think Friends is a Christian show. Meaning, I don’t think Friends portray’s Christian values the way Christians would. HOWEVER, I do think the show contains some values that reflect truths throughout the Bible. And I like that the characters aren’t cookie-cutter “perfect,” but have many flaws. Hey, let’s face it: none of us are perfect. We are all imperfect people trying to make it in this world. It’s just that we Christians have decided to put our trust in Christ, who we believe washes our imperfections away in the sight of God, and follow his lead on how to go about living.
Now that that’s said, let’s go into today’s fan-votional:
If you remember the pilot episode, it is the one where the crew, minus Rachel and Ross, is sitting in the coffee shop discussing a dream Chandler had when Ross walks in. He is dejected. His wife just moved out of their apartment, having left him for another woman. He’s sitting on the couch having some friend-therapy when he says, “I don’t want to be single. I just want to be married again,” and in walks Rachel in a wedding dress desperately seeking Monica (her old best friend from high school).
Rachel has just fled her own wedding, realizing she’s not in love with the groom. She is a spoiled rich-girl who has no job skills and very little understanding of how the “real” world works. Despite being flouted as a friend and not invited to the wedding, Monica not only takes Rachel in but also helps her let go of Daddy’s credit cards (and thus control) and embrace being an adult. Meaning getting a job, paying bills, doing her own laundry, etc.
As I was watching this I got to thinking, Monica is a really great friend and someone we can learn the art of loving others from.
1. Monica forgives Rachel without Rachel even needing to apologize.
Rachel comes in to the coffee shop. Monica see’s her former friend in distress and goes to her. She introduces Rachel to all her new friends and immediately asks what’s wrong. After the explanation and the revelation that Rachel came to her because Monica was the only of Rachel’s friends not invited to the wedding, Monica brings Rachel up to her apartment and allows Rachel to use her phone to call Daddy. No apology needed.
Never abandon a friend—
either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.
It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. ~ Proverbs 27:10 NLT
2. Monica gives penniless Rachel a place to stay.
Rachel, angry with her father for wanting her to marry Barry anyway, tells him she’ll just stay with Monica. Monica, though she doesn’t seem thrilled about the idea, doesn’t protest. She allows Rachel to stay with her, I’m assuming, rent-free for at least the beginning. It’s not like Rachel has any money to pay.
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. ~ 1 Peter 4:9 NLT
3. Monica helps Rachel to overcome the obstacle holding her back.
Rachel is terrified of cutting the financial umbilical cord. But, she wants to be her own woman and not be controlled by her father anymore. She wants to prove to herself that she can stand on her own two feet. So, Monica and all her friends help Rachel overcome this last obstacle that is holding her back from stepping into adulthood.
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend. ~ Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Monica is not perfect, but she sure is a great friend.
Bonus Point: Joey & Chandler help Ross assemble furniture even though they don’t like assembling furniture.
Groan. I do not like moving or furniture assembly, but when a friend needs help moving, you roll up your sleeves and get to work (shame on you, Phoebe, lol). Friends help friends even when the task is something that makes them groan inwardly.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. ~ Luke 6:31 ESV