I’m entering in to new terrain by starting this blog. Though I spend quite a bit of time each week creating Bible study lessons and devotional material, I have yet to actually journal. For several reasons it seems like archiving, so to speak, the thoughts I have of what God is teaching and showing me, would be worthwhile. Even if it’s just for me.
So I’ll just start with thoughts from today’s sermon. We are in 1 Samuel and looked at the friendship between David and Jonathan. Of course, having two boys bearing those names I love the loyal bond between them and pray my own sons have that type of friendship.
I typically don’t analyze the mechanics of friendship. I am blessed with some amazing Christian women in my life and typically don’t struggle in the friend area. But in thinking on the three aspects of friendship that Pete brought out, I see clearly why it is some friends are so close even if they are far away. And other friends drift in and out of life more seamlessly.
Here are the three elements of friendship we looked at…loyalty, safety and unity.
Loyalty – This is commitment. The kind of unconditional love that is not going anywhere. NYC Pastor Tim Keller talks about relationships in terms of consumerism and covenant. Do you look to your friendships with a consumer mentality? Putting in only what you get out… if I get a better offer, I’ll ditch this person and move on.
Today we see this once business-type relationship in all other relationships. Marriages end in divorce when our spouse doesn’t give us what we want or make us happy so we move on to someone who does. Or a friend dumps us because she can find more popularity with another group. This is not covenant. Covenant is binding. It is what God made with Abraham and was promised to all his children. It creates safety.
Safety – Are you safe? Can you say hard things and know you won’t be deserted? If I am afraid of what you might think about me then I will not share intimately. If I worry you might gossip about me or share something said in confidence, it is not a safe friendship. And if we can’t share deeply and feel safe then the relationship will only stay at a certain surface level.
Now both loyalty and safety are areas that can be developed and grow in a friendship, but unity, not so much.
Unity- a shared passion, commonality. We are traveling the same road. Friendships develop when you spend time together at work, in a hobby or on the same team. But what happens if you change jobs, switch hobbies or the season ends and that commonality isn’t there anymore? To me if this unity isn’t in Christ then friendships will naturally wane. But for those friends who find Life in Jesus, who desire to glorify Him, seek to forsake “idols”, discuss and deal with sin, encourage one another, those are the friends that remain.
By God’s grace I will be that type of friend, starting with my husband and family!