How many true friends do you have? At first, a lot of names may come to mind, but the longer you consider the question, the more likely the number is to dwindle. The reality is that we do not have many genuine friends--the ones who remain loyal no matter what circumstances arise.
This dependable, intimate closeness is what the Lord wants for us, but it's a rare treasure. The biblical account of Jonathan and David can help us learn how to foster this kind of relationship (1 Samuel 18-20). Their story demonstrates that genuine friendships are built upon a foundation of mutual respect, emotional love, and genuine commitment. Today, let's explore the first component.
For true companionship, there must be appreciation by both parties of the other's godly qualities. This starts with an attitude of valuing all people, knowing that they were created in God's image and are loved by Him. After all, if Jesus chose to die for them, they certainly have worth. But at the same time, the regard that David and Jonathan displayed toward one another was greater than mere respect; it revealed admiration for attributes commended in Scripture. These included loyalty to the nation of Israel, courage in battle, and strong faith in God.
Consider the question I asked earlier about the people you deem "true friends." Do these individuals exhibit godly characteristics that you respect? And do they, in turn, have admiration for the biblical qualities they see in you? This mutual, scriptural respect is a necessary foundation for genuine friendship.