Genuine friends are like an oasis in the midst of a desert. They refresh us, energize us, and give us what we need to keep going strong. And like oases, they can be rare and difficult to find. When you discover a true friend, do you know how to cultivate that relationship into something truly beautiful? Learn what is required of us if we want to engage in godly friendship.
Friendships come in a variety of forms ranging from casual to intimate. Casual friendships are plentiful and happen quickly, but intimate friends are few in number, and the relationship takes longer to develop. No matter what our position or status in life, we all need friends, especially those who are genuine, loyal, and lasting. If we’ve found a friend like this, we should be grateful because he or she is a priceless possession.
In 1 Samuel 18:1-7, the story of David and Jonathan is a wonderful example of a true friendship. Immediately after David’s victory over Goliath, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself” (v. 1). This was an unusual friendship because it appears to have developed suddenly, yet it reached deep into their souls. Being knit together is like having hearts linked to each other so they cannot be separated.
Jonathan, who was a great warrior himself, saw David’s courage and felt an immediate bond with him. An intimate friendship requires the giving of one’s self to another, and that’s what Jonathan did. Because of his love for David, he made a covenant with him that day, giving him his robe and armor. And his loyalty was proven true when he rescued David a number of times from the jealous rage of his father, Saul. Although Saul saw David as a threat to his kingdom, Jonathan saw him as his intimate friend, and that friendship lasted until his death.