Thanks to social media, making friends has become really easy. Typically, this is how many of us have made friends in the last few years: You send a friend request/follow the person you would like to befriend, have a few conversations online, exchange phone numbers and start chatting via WhatsApp. Within a few weeks, you are already BFF’s.
Is this how God entailed friendships to be? I would like us to do a self-evaluation of all our friends and check whether it is in line with the friendship between David and Jonathan as highlighted below.
Who exactly is a friend?
The best example of a friendship is recorded in the Bible between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18 which tells us that:
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:1-4)
Let’s define friendship according to the way that Jonathan and David modelled it and evaluate our friendships as we go, preferably your best friend:
A true friendship is one where 2 souls are knit together
The friendship between David and Jonathan was so close that their “souls” became knit together (vs. 1)! Which tells US that whatever hurt Jonathan also hurt David and vice versa, everything that concerned David was of concern to David, they must have shared everything with each other, the good and the bad. They had each other’s back no matter what. That’s how tight these men were.
Do you know people who have 3, 5 or even 20 best friends? The Bible says that only 2 souls can be knit together, meaning that your soul is not knit to any of your numerous best friends.
To be honest, other than Jesus, I don’t think I can say that I have such a friend here on earth. Do you have such a friend?
A True Friend Loves You Deeply
Anyone that truly loves you would not do anything to hurt you. They will love you just as they love themselves. Since we always want the best for ourselves, we would also want nothing but the best for our friends. However, that would only be the case if we TRULY loved them. If your friend loves you, they will correct you when you are on the wrong.
So do your friends TRULY love you? Do they want the best for you? Are they there for you?
Friendship is a covenant
Jonathan made a covenant with David and while the Bible does not give the exact details of the covenant, it was significant because he even took off his robe and gave it to David as a physical sign of the covenant. A covenant in the Old Testament is binding which meant that one couldn’t go back on it.
Friendships are not something to be taken lightly people. I believe that when they entered into covenant it was recorded in Heaven. They are meant to be lifelong commitments and not seasonal as most friendships currently are.
Evaluate your friendships today and check whether they are a covenant that God would approve of. Are you in a wicked covenant or a Godly one? Do you see yourself being lifelong friends with your current circle?
Which brings me to my next point:
Friendship is selfless (all about giving)
Jonathan gave David his robe, remember this guy was royalty so it probably wasn’t a cheap robe. We could argue that with him being rich giving out a robe was not a big deal to him. Who knows, the robe may have been his favorite one. Also note that and he didn’t expect David to give something in return.
Jonathan even knew that God had appointed David as a successor to his father Saul, yet he was next in line to the throne and he didn’t hold it against David.
A true friend should be able to give up something that is important to them for your sake when the need arises and it may be something significant like Jonathan giving up kingship (hard to believe, right?). Is your friend willing to give up anything for you?
Its key to note that giving is not a one sided affair, if you find yourself as the one always giving your friend your time, attention, gifts, you’re the one always calling, then you’re probably the only one that values that friendship.
A true friend will warn you when your enemies are plotting against you
And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.”- 1 Samuel 19: 1-3
Jonathan went against his father all to save David’s life! I don’t know about you but I need such a friend in my life. I’ve had situations where I thought that someone was my friend but the feeling wasn’t mutual. And I’ve also probably done the same thing to others. Or people that pretended to be my friends but gossiped about me, were jealous of me, held grudges and others were my secretly my enemies (albeit unknowingly to me)
A true friend will warn you of impending danger. He\she will never watch you as you walk on a path of destruction but will be there to rebuke and advise you. When they get wind of your enemies plotting against you, they will let you know. If they hear others bad mouthing you they will walk away instead of contributing to the conversation.
Your friends will shape your destiny
When I first got born again, the first thing that God did was remove the cause me to break off some friendships and looking back, I now understand why. I can’t go where He wants to take me and had I continued associating with certain friends, they would derail me. Nowadays, I’m very careful on who I allow into my life because I realize that a friendship is a relationship that should not be taken lightly.
The Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). The devil knows this very well and will ensure that he sends “friends” into your life to steal your destiny. You may be a person with a very promising future and you make friends with drug addicts. My friend, sooner or later you will become an addict.
Do you have friends who are influencing you to do the wrong thing? Maybe because of hanging around them you’ve changed; you’re now drink, do drugs, engaging in prostitution. It could even be simple things like lying to your parents about your whereabouts because you know that you are going to places you have no business being in with your friends.
Are some of your friends are keeping you from entering into your destiny? Take a closer look your friends and ask God to show you if they really are for you. Ask Him to expose the ones that secretly plot your destruction or those ones the devil is actively using to steal and keep you from entering into your destiny.
He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction: but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother – Proverbs 18:24
Most importantly, friends pray for each other.
Remember that two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble (Ephesians 4:9-10.)
Whether you realize it or not, your friends are speaking into your life and who you associate with presently will directly influence your future.
May God give you the wisdom to choose the right friends.