Years ago, UCLA’s football coach Pepper Rogers was in the middle of a terrible season. It got so bad, it even affected his home life. He recalls, “My dog was my only friend. I told my wife that a man needs at least two friends... so she went out and bought me another dog!”
We all need friends. We all need people we can journey with. Some people make friends easily, and for others, it's much more difficult. Regardless of how it works for you, there are some great examples of friendship all around us to draw from, and some of the best are found in the Bible.
This account is found in 1 Samuel 18:1-3 (NKJV)
"Now when 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. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul."
From that point on, Jonathan and David became the best of friends and because of their covenant, they actually became like brothers. Some modern critics use this passage to support the idea that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship. That's simply not accurate. The term stating that their "souls were knit” is an Hebraism – meaning that the life of Jonathan was bound up or bound together with the life of David. The had a shared destiny together to fulfill, and the establishing of their friendship was the beginning of it.
Two buzz words in our culture today are the words "destiny" and "purpose." Most people have a sense of one, but feel like they lack the other. You may feel a sense of destiny, but lack purpose. Or you may feel you have purpose, but lack a sense of destiny. God wants you to experience both, because both involve the friendships you develop in life.
Like Jonathan and David, we create a culture of honor in our relationships when we purpose in our hearts to do three things. Here's the first one: Love people even when it’s inconvenient. Proverbs 17:17 says this: “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
When Jonathan's father Saul found out that David and Jonathan had made a covenant to be friends with one another he was furious. It wasn’t easy for Jonathan to see his father become jealous of David, but he did the honorable thing and warned David. In doing so he literally saved his life. When we choose to be a loyal friend and love other people, and yes, sometimes it’s inconvenient, it will always cost us something. Jesus said this about our relationships, even the inconvenient ones: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." Proverbs also tells us this: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Dale Carnegie once said this about friendship: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” Simply put, to make friends you have to be a friend.
The second thing to do in creating a culture of honor when it comes to our relationships is this: Love people even when they’re inconsistent. I can hear the protests now. "But Pastor Mike, that's most of the time!" To which I say: "Yep!" I like the way Proverbs 27:5, 6 says it: “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” David established a culture of honor with Saul, even though one minute Saul loved him, and another minute he hated him and was trying to kill him. God used Saul’s inconsistency to test David’s character. Would David try and take the throne by violence, or trust God to keep His promise, and put it into his hands when David's heart was ready for it? Understand this about life: Character is always tested during times of adversity or prosperity.
This last one is the easiest and it's this: Love the One who’s incomparable. Be a person who loves God. It's easiest because God is always consistent, and though it's not always convenient to be God's friend, He'll never let you down or betray you. He'll always be there for you, even when others will not or can not. That's probably the best part about being God's friend. Abraham knew Him, David knew Him...millions of people around the world know Him...how about you?
If you're interested in finding out how to establish a real relationship with God, call me here at the church, and I'll help you get started. Our number is: (262) 250-1925. Or, find us online at: www.metroharvest.com