A friend loves at all times… ~Proverbs 17:17a
Sometimes a friendship gets interrupted by time and space. It is always a blessing to come back to it as if you saw the person yesterday. A close relationship between two people requires effort – some intentional attention paid to the relationship.
The friendship between David and Jonathan described 1 Samuel in the Bible can be applied to our relationships today.
Without looking at chapter and verse, let’s look at the principles:
Friendship is a sacrificial relationship. We may have to sacrifice:
- Time- if you want to get close to someone it takes time.
- Energy – we may be the ones who need to initiate contact or to help with things that require sweat equity in the friendship ( a move, gardening, painting, etc.)
- Comfort – we forfeit our own comfort to say hard things, to point out truth or sin, and point to God for forgiveness, or to be there when a friend’s life is hard and we can do nothing but love and encourage them. We may need to get out of our comfy clothes and show up for a friend in need.
- Money – a friend might need financial help or to be taken from home and holed up in a coffee shop for a time to refresh them, or we might need to travel some distance to see them when they are in a desert place.
We must be consistent in character.
- A friend needs to know we are trustworthy to speak well of them to others, that we will speak highly of them even when they are not with us.
- A friend will keep a secret.
- A friend will keep her promises.
- A friend will strengthen a friend’s hand in God (1 Samuel 23:16)
We must choose friends wisely.
- A good friend will want to please the Lord as you do. (Proverbs 12:26)
- Anger is a snare to friendship. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
- Friends can talk too much (and so can we). (Proverbs 10:19, 17:9)
- A friend’s bad habits can bring us down. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
The scripture has the best “friend advice” we will find anywhere. One passage worthy of thought and application to all our friendships:
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. ~Romans 12.15-18
It is a wonderful feeling to know there is someone with whom we can have this kind of close, trusted relationship. If we have them already, how could we communicate that they are valued and appreciated?
If we do not have a close friendship now, but want one, what sacrifice of comfort and time could we make to initiate it?