A Theology of Friendship: Malasakit (Part 3)

Part 3 | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4

Originally written in 2000 after the comedy “Friends” became a hit and before “friendzone” became a thing.  Like, A Theology of Eating, I think that this too, needs to be brought to the front. With a little rewrite and tweak, this may be…um…subversive.  Insert winky emoticon here.

“You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”


Someone more familiar with the bible might point out that the “friends” verse was preceded by that “do what I command” bit.  Isn't that something that involves a hierarchy?

Okay, let’s assume hierarchy.  There’s your boss and you are a cubicle dweller.  You work, he supervises.  You work, he demands results.  You work, he critiques and evaluates.  You work…then one day he asks, “which basketball team did you bet on?”


“Just curious, I put money on for team A.”

“Oh.  I was rooting for team B.”

“Wanna bet?”

“You’re on.”

Someone loses and someone pays off the winner.  That trivial conversation just moved your relationship off the employer-employee level.  This becomes a friendly vicarious duel in your office.  One day, the boss heads off to your cubicle and offers: “instead of waiting for the next day to find out whose team won, there’s a sports bar nearby, why don’t we grab some drinks and whoever loses the bet pays for the beer.”

“You’re on!”

Soon it becomes routine.  Off to the sports bar after office every time there is a game.  As time goes by you're both off to the bar even when there is no basketball game.  On those days, the conversation swings around office gossip, romances or the lack of it, jokes and then it goes deep.  Rants about taxes, traffic, sources of anxiety and fears.  Guess what?  You are now friends.  Add to the fact you are eating and drinking together.

One day, the boss does not look too happy.  With the beer loosening him up a bit, he confides that business is not going too well.


The following day, you are greeted by a memo in the office.  Leaves are off.  Quotas increased.  Longer working hours.  Bonuses postponed.  WTF!!??  The other guys in the office are now ranting, some are threatening to quit and some even want to call in a union.  But wait—your friend described last night how bad things were.  You understand.

You have malasakit.
“…a servant does not know his master’s business.”

But you do.  A servant will obey, perhaps grudgingly, but you know the business and because of malasakit, you do things to help the business.  The boss may give you some slack because you are his friend.  But because of malasakit, you may actually do more because he is your friend.

Is Jesus your Lord?


Is Jesus your friend?

Do you know the what, when, where and why?  Or, are you just blindly obeying?