What is true friendship?

What makes someone your true friend? What gives them that honor in your life? Do you have that honor in someone else’s life? I have been reading through 1 Samuel this month which has once again reminded me of the friendship between Jonathan and David. Read the verses below and then write down all that it teaches your about what it means to be a friend or to have a friend like Jonathan. (my italics and bold font will give you a hint)

1 Samuel 18: 3,4 “Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 20:13-15 He blessed him saying, “May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father.  But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness for as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,  and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

In a group discussion I lead each week, my friend Julio Soto shared this link with us regarding the characteristics of true friendship. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/true-friends-are-hard-to-find The points made in this article substantiate what made the friendship of Jonathan and David so special. 1) They each heightened their own joy in God. 2) They helped each other to see their own blind spots and imperfections (sin) that kept them from the life God wanted them to live. 3) Jonathan especially spurred David up in his love for God and wanting to do good works. (Hebrews 10:24) I am guessing knowing Jonathan was Saul’s son helped David not kill Saul when he had the chance. 4) A true friend is there when we feel alone. “Walking through life in a God-belittling world, with our sin-ridden flesh, against a hell-bent enemy, is too hard to be attempted alone.” Jonathan continually reminded David he was there for him no matter what. His taking off the robe and giving it to David, along with his tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt symbolized David was truly a member of his family and that he would be there for him no matter what. 5) Friends will be drawn closer together as they grow in their faith in God. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Another friend shared his personal manta, #TWS. It stands for “Two Way Street”. The power of true friendship is when people are committed to each other in the same way. It results in being the recipient of someone else’s unconditional love while desiring to return it in the same way. It personalizes in a positive way, “what goes around comes around” Like #2 notes above, one must remember each person has their own faults and therefore, their first commit must be to the Lord who is always present and will never disappoint. When we love the Lord with all our heart first and THEN love others as God loves us, we can trust that the outcome will be friendships that heighten our own joy. https://biblehub.com/matthew/22-37.htm We can move forward boldly in life never feeling alone in our quest to be the people for which we were created. That is the power of true friendships. We experience humility when we realize someone loves us just because and out of it flows gratitude that allows us to live out being thankful in all things.  

Please subscribe to this blog so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com