Allow me to begin with some quotes about friendship I found somewhere through the years. So long ago that the source is lost – my apologies to the original compiler.
- Anyone can stand by you when you are right, but a friend will stand by you even when are wrong.
- A simple friend identifies himself when he calls; A real friend does not have too.
- A simple friend opens a conversation with a full news bulletin on his life; A real friend says, “what’s new with you?”
- A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent; A real friend says, “you have been whining about that for 14 years. Get up and do something about it.”
- A simple friend has never seen you cry; A real friend has shoulder soggy from your tears.
- A simple friend does not know your parents’ first names; A real friend has their phone number in his contact list.
- A simple friend brings a casserole to your party; A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.
- A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed; A real friends asks you why you took so long to call.
- A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems; A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
- A simple friend wonders about your romantic history; A real friend could blackmail you with it.
- A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest; A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.
- A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument; A real friend knows that it is not a friendship until after you have had a fight.
- A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you.
In 1 Samuel 18-23 we have a story of a real friendship. The relationship between David and Jonathan. In their company we find four aspects that are common in close friendships:
- Mutual Admiration – 1 Sam 18:6-30: The could have been rivals for throne, yet they were friends. Saul was opposed to David; yet David & Jonathan admired each other.
- Mutual Love – 1 Sam 19:1-6: Even though Saul was against David, Jonathan “delighted much in David.” More than once, Jonathan stood up to the king defending David and Saul would temporarily forgets his hatred of David.
- Mutual Sacrifice – 1 Sam 18:4: David and Jonathan sacrificed for each other – 1 Sam 20:1-3, 30-33. David would demonstrate this in his actions towards Jonathan’s survivor Mephibosheth in 2 Sam 9.
- Mutual Commitment – 1 Sam 23:14-18: David is spiritually, emotionally, and physically exhausted and Jonathan seeks him out to encourage him. They continually looked for the best in each other as well as ways to do the best for each other
Looking at theses four characteristics of friendship: Mutual Admiration, Mutual Love, Mutual Sacrifice, and Mutual Commitment caused me to reflect on Jesus. he by his life and sacrifice demonstrates true friendship toward us. What a Friend we Have in Jesus!
Is it a real friendship if I do not return Admiration, Love, Sacrifice, and Commitment?
Just thinking out loud . . .