3 Characteristics of Genuine Friendship.
A man dialed the wrong number and heard an alarming answering machine message. “I am not available right now. After the beep, leave a message, and I will call you back. I’m making some changes in my life now, so if I don’t call you back, you are one of those changes.”
True friendship is a treasure. We associate with many people, but how many of those people are genuine friends? The Bible gives us a glimpse of real friendship in David and Jonathan’s relationship.
Jonathan was a true friend to David. He possessed the characteristics of a true friend.
1. Jonathan was devoted to David.
Some time after David battled Goliath, Jonathan and David developed an intimate friendship which lasted the test of time. The friends were devoted to one another.
Jonathan did not run away from David when Saul started chasing him. As Saul was chasing him, David’s life experienced an adverse season, and Jonathan remained his friend. Jonathan’s devotion compelled him to remain a friend to David.
Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Genuine friendship is built on devotion, hanging in there during good and bad times.
2. Jonathan was willing to sacrifice to help David.
The tension between Saul and David lasted until Saul’s death. Jonathan was willing to make some sacrifices during this time. He risked creating tension between himself and his father, and he stepped aside so David could take the throne of Israel.
In 1 Samuel 23:17, Jonathan tells David, “Do not be afraid, my father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” Jonathan willingly gave up his right to the throne for David.
Jonathan was able to see the big picture. He realized David’s potential and sacrificed to help him. True friends sacrifice for one another. This may be helping carry a burden, offering financial assistance in a rough time, or helping navigate through difficult circumstances. Sacrifice is a mark of true friendship.
3. Jonathan encouraged David.
1 Samuel 23:16 says Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in God. Friends encourage one another.
Friends encourage one another to achieve goals and fulfill dreams. Christian friends also encourage each other to stay strong in their faith. They help in times of trouble and celebrate in times of victory.
Think of your friendships. Are there areas where you could be a better friend?