Created to Love Blog: Friends - How many of us have them?
We are created to be and to have heartfelt friends.
A friend is a person who one knows you and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. (reference: online dictionary). However, what is true friendship according to the Bible? Jesus gave us the definition of a true friend: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends for everything I have learned from my father I have made known to you.” (John 15:13-15)
Proverbs 17:1-2, says, “A friend loves at all times and sticks closer than a brother. “When I read these verses, tears welled up in my eyes. It touched me to my core. It made my heart tender as I remembered people in my life who called themselves my friend (some even referred to me as their sister or sister in Christ) but are no longer in my life. It was painful and I remember praying that I would not wish such pain on anyone. I smiled and thanked God for being in my life and thinking where would I be if it was not for the grace and mercy and love of God. He is a friend that loves at all times and sticks closer than a brother. I can always go to the throne of grace and receive mercy in time of need. He has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness.
My prayer is that no one will ever experience the rejection of another. It has been said that your ministry comes out of your greatest pain. I am a witness. This is true. What have you been through in life that brought you much misery? Was it a broken relationship with a significant other, was it the death of a child, was it a hostile work environment, the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, was it an unkind neighbor, was it a wayward teenager or young adult? What? God can use this pain for your good and for the building of His kingdom.
Throughout King David’s life, he experienced three very profound relationships. Let’s look at the first one which was with Samuel, the priest . Samuel went to Jesse’s home to crown a king. His seven brothers all fit the bill or had the characteristics of a king. Yet, they were not the one that had been chosen. When David came to Samuel to be crowned as the king, Samuel could have said, “You are too small in stature. I don’t believe you are capable of fulfilling the role of king. God, I think you have chosen the wrong one.” No, he believed in David to be the next king and He trusted God. God does not look at the outward appearance. He looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
The second friend that David had that was crucial to his walk with God was Jonathan, Saul’s son. There was a time when King Saul tried relentlessly to kill David. King Saul was extremely jealous of David. When Saul was trying to kill David, Jonathan was supportive and pointed David back to God.
The third relationship that helped shape David’s life was the one he had with Nathan, the prophet. Although everyone on the king’s court knew what David had done with Bathsheba. They knew that he had impregnated her. They knew he had killed her husband, Uriah, by intentionally putting him in the frontline during the war. However, they were afraid to tell David the truth about himself, all except Nathan. Nathan shared a parable with David that went something like this . . . Once upon a time, there were two men. One was rich and one was poor. The rich guy had many sheep and unlimited wealth. The poor guy only had one lamb which was almost like a pet to him and his family. When the rich man had a guest come into town he slaughters the lamb belonging to the poor man and used it to prepare a meal for his guest. As Nathan shared the parable with David, David became furious, stating very sternly, “As surely as the Lord lives, this man shall die. He must pay for that lamb four times over because he did such a thing and had no pity. (2 Samuel 12:5-6). Fortunately, Nathan loved David enough to tell him the truth. Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). That was enough to shake David out of denial and to humble him before the Lord God Almighty?
It is time to do some soul searching and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to 1-3 true friends who can see the value of God in you and will to trust God in what they see in you regardless of the circumstances. A true friend loves at all times and will be honest with you when you make poor choices that do not align with the will, way, and word of God. Honestly ask yourself what kind of friend are you? Do you resemble the kind of friend that you want in your life? Keep in mind that the biggest room there is room for improvement.
Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father I thank you that you are my friend, you are my anchor. Thank you for being ever present. Thank you for loving me just where am with all my inadequacies and inconsistencies. I pray that we find and keep heartfelt friends and cherish them right where they are. I pray that you will show us how to look past that and choose to love others the way that you love us. Thank you for being a true friend.