Speaking the Truth in Love

I Don’t Have Any Friends

See the source imageI don’t have any friends” is a complaint that makes a parent’s heart ache. Mom and dad can provide lots of things—food, clothes, medical care, a loving home environment. But they can’t force other children to befriend their kids. How do children (and adults) make and keep good friends? Jonathan’s relationship with David suggests an excellent answer.

See the source image Selfless. After the defeat of Goliath, “Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:3). As son of King Saul, Jonathan knew that the throne of Israel rightly belonged to himself. But he also knew that the Lord had chosen David to succeed his father. Most men would have keenly resented this, but Jonathan didn’t. One time he told David that “you shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you” (23:17). This commendable attitude creates friendship almost everywhere—on the playground, in the office, or in the church.

See the source image Honest. Seeing David as a threat to the throne, King Saul tried to kill him. Once David asked Jonathan, “What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” (1 Sam. 20:1). Jonathan reassured David that it wasn’t so. Actually, it was so. Jonathan was mistaken. But he wasn’t dishonest. He had told David what he sincerely believed. After discovering his error, Jonathan promptly corrected himself. As Americans become increasingly comfortable with lying, relationships grow weaker. True and lasting friendship is built on mutual trust. When friends lie to each other, the foundation cracks and crumbles.

Affectionate. When Jonathan learned that his friend was really in danger, they both realized that David would have to go into hiding. Spending time together would no longer be safe. At parting these two great warriors “kissed one another and wept with one another” (1 Sam. 20:41). In its cultural context, this kiss was equivalent to a manly hug. Many potential friendships never form because people are afraid to say or show how they feel about each other.

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