This week, listen into one of Pastor J.D.’s recent sermons on the life of King David and his friendship with Jonathan and discover what makes the best friendship.
Here’s what David’s friendship with Jonathan did:
1. It shielded David.
- Jonathan alerted David to danger that he was unaware of. He saw things that David could not see.
- The central point is that together is better.
- And that’s partially because our friends see danger in our lives before we do. The definition of a blind spot is something you can’t see because you are blind to it. If you knew about it, it wouldn’t be a blind spot. You can’t see it, but quite often your friends can. Often that blind spot is in our own hearts: Proverbs 18:1, “An isolated man seeks his own desire and rages against all sound judgment.” When you get isolated, selfish heart deformities begin to grow unchecked.
- Are people close enough to you to speak into your life? Be honest.
Here’s the second thing this friendship did:
2. It strengthened David.
- Jonathan spoke courage into David’s life when David was ready to give up. He reminded David that God had great plans for his life even when David’s world seemed to be collapsing around him.
- True friends multiply your strength. God designed our hearts to work that way.
- God made us so that our strength multiplies when we pull together with a friend. Have you experienced that?
- Close friendships sustain and strengthen us: I was re-reading something Tim Keller said the other day about marriage. He said in times of distress, it’s not the romantic part of the marriage relationship that helps, but the friendship part. He talked about going through one of the most difficult seasons of his life, and says in the middle of it that it dawned on him: His wife helped sustain him but not because she was his wife—but because she was his friend. What I needed, he said, wasn’t sex, or a roommate, or someone I shared my bank account with. It was a true soul friend.
- And so he says to married people, or those looking to get married: “You must do everything possible, you must pay any price, to be best friends with your spouse.” Good marriages, he says, are not basically romance garnished with friendship. They are friendships garnished with romance.
- And for those of you not married, it means that the most sustaining parts of marriage are available to you. It’s not sex or sharing a bed—it’s friendship.
So, this friendship shielded David, and strengthened him, and lastly:
3. It shaped David.
- Later on we’ll see David show extreme generosity and selflessness with others. After tragedy had struck Saul and Jonathan’s house, David asked if there was any of Jonathan’s descendants he could show kindness to. And David found Jonathan had one living relative, a boy named Mephibosheth, but he was crippled. David said, “Bring him to my table. He’ll never lack anything,” and for the rest of his life David treated him like a son. That’s a generosity of spirit he learned, at least in part, from Jonathan.
- Jonathan’s character shaped David’s character. That’s what Proverbs says will happen: Proverbs 13:20, “He that walks with wise men shall be wise, but the companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
- I’ve heard Pastor Craig Groeschel say that this verse means there is one place in your lives I can look right now to accurately predict our future. It’s not your New Year’s resolutions. It’s who your close friends are.
- Craig says you become the average of your five closest friends.
- You say, “That’s depressing.” The good news in that is that if you want to change your future and are not sure where to start, you have a very actionable step: change your close friendships.
- I often say it’s not the dreams you dream that determine your destiny; it’s the small decisions you make. One of those important decisions is who you do life with; who you walk closely with.
- Pastor Groeschel says, “We all have something we’d like to become… a better parent. A better student/worker. A more solid Christian. What if the decision to become that was really a decision about what friends you chose?”
Friendships are important because they shield us, strengthen us, and shape us. That’s how God designed us.
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