Genuine friendship is uncommon. A genuine friend is in your corner when you’re cornered. A real friend sees you through when everybody else sees you’re through. A real friend walks in when everybody else walks out.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Yesterday at Salem, we explored the genuine friendship of David and Jonathan (Click HERE to listen online). David and Jonathan had every reason in the Bible to be jealous of each other. Jonathan was the son of Saul the king of Israel. He was next in line. Jonathan was to be king. He was a valiant warrior. Jonathan had defeated the Philistines just like David. Who was Jonathan’s best friend? David, the guy God picked to be the next king. There was every reason in the world for jealousy but you don’t get one hint of it. Why? Because they were genuine friends who were candid, consistent, committed.
As we explore their genuine friendship in 1 Samuel 18 and following, we discover several commitments they made to one another. Even though these commitments are spelled out exactly in the text we see the evidence that they were there. They promised loyalty. Jonathan would never betray David’s trust. David never violated Jonathan’s confidence. Neither of them ever wished they other harm. They were not perfect men. They did plenty wrong. They needed forgiveness in their friendship (see past post). But they had committed to one another.
It’s apparent that they made a promise to tell the truth. When David had concerns about Saul plotting against him (1 Samuel 20), even though Jonathan doubted if those concerns were valid he promised to tell David the truth.
When David experienced difficulty, Jonathan wast there. A genuine friend.
I am realizing more and more that when I get to the end of my life, one of the greatest sources of joy, for me, will be my genuine friendships. And God continues to remind me what it looks like to be a genuine friend to others.