January 21, 2004
Building Lasting Friendships
1 Samuel 18:1-4
If I were to ask you how many friends you had, you may mention a large group of people, each of whom you call “friend.” However, if I were to ask how many really knew you—heart and soul—I wonder if anyone in that group would qualify. The sad truth is, genuine friendship has become a rare commodity in this world.
What does it take to be a true friend? There could be no finer example than the relationship between David and Jonathan. These two knew what was required to maintain a healthy friendship, and their commitment to that relationship is legendary.
Three things characterized their friendship. First, they had a mutual respect for one another. This is a point that often gets lost in today's world. However, the reality is that we can never maintain a genuine friendship with anyone whom we do not completely respect.
Second, David and Jonathan shared an emotional love for one another. There was nothing sexual or inappropriate about their feelings; rather, they simply rejoiced in the comradery that God had brought together.
Third, they maintained a genuine commitment to each other. These were no “fair weather friends.” In fact, their bond even withstood the attempts of Jonathan's father to kill David. (1 Samuel 23:15-17) Jonathan refused to allow anything to come between him and his friend.
Think about your best friend. Do you have a mutual respect? Do you feel an emotional bond between you? Are you both committed to your friendship? One true companion is a blessing from God. (Proverbs 18:24) Praise Him for the gift of your friend.
To delve deeper into this subject and more, visit the In Touch Web site: www.intouch.org.
For a free online discipleship study from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.