Friendships are a wonderful part of life. It is vital to the intimate connections we share and cultivate as time goes by and the right, romantic kind of friendship can blossom into a marriage. And let’s be honest no one really likes to be alone. Adam was alone in the garden and God saw that it wasn’t good for him and he gained a companion, an intimate friend in Eve comparable to him. Anthropologists and scientists have said that finding friends and cultivating friendships are vital to human survival and a healthy mental, social and physical well-being. And I don’t think that comes as a surprise to any of us. You know that, I know that, we all know that. We experience it. Everyday.
But I fear that because we so desperately crave the attention of others, their words of affirmation and the oh so “helpful” advice they give us, we may choose to settle for just about any person we can get and entitle them as a friend. Developing friendships with individuals that don’t have your best interest in mind undoubtedly leads to dangerous perils that can create grave circumstances. Amnon and Jonadab’s friendship is a really good example of that (2 Sam. 13:1-15). Jonadab advised Amnon to go ahead and sleep with his sister despite it being wrong.
Now, friendships don’t always have to be like Amnon and Jonadab’s friendship. Instead of it being perilous, you can have a positive, wonderful friendship with someone. Quite the contrary to the previous friendship, David and Jonathan were friends that built their friendship on love. And it wasn’t some weak, generic love but it was a love that stemmed ultimately from a love for God. Jonathan loved David as himself fulfilling the second greatest commandment and by extension He fulfilled the first by loving God.
This love that David and Jonathan had was a real, genuine, kind of love. Their souls were knit together because their hearts were in the right place to begin with. Amnon’s friendship with Jonadab took him down a destructive path. A path that was filled with brokenness and sin resulting in death. But a path such as his may ultimately lead to eternal death. David’s friendship with Jonathan strengthened him and encouraged him and helped him to become better for his people and better for God. The greatest friend you can ever have is one who puts God first and encourages you to do the same. Which kinds of friends do you have? Which one’s do you want? Someone like Jonadab or someone like Jonathan? Surround yourself with people that will make you better, not bitter. And if nothing else, know that you have a friend in God if you come to Him now and obey His words.