Meditate on It Monday-2.8.10

Friends and fans,

Here we are for the second installment of Meditate on It Monday. We had some great discussion last week about what friendships mean to us. You all had some great ideas about how (and why) we should nurture those.

I asked a question last week, that I'd like us to ponder a little more deeply today. I was curious if your friendships benefit you, your friend or both. Remember? Here's why I asked. I operate off a general friendship principle that this is a give-and-take kind of set-up. I have told you guys that I don't think I'm a good friend. I don't typically handle high maintenance relationships very well. I always feel like I drop the ball. Ugh. I don't like that about myself. (I'm working on it. Really I am.)

Alright, more confessions. I am also, unfortunately, coming to the realization that I am kind of a selfish friend. I like to feel valued, and needed, and to the degree I feel these things, I invest in my friends likewise. In short, relationships that thrive are ones where I both give and receive. I assumed this was a basic and universal tenet for friendship.

It is not.

Look with me at 1 Samuel 14:6. Here is a quick introduction to Jonathan, son of Saul. He is royalty's next in line. His father is King. In this passage we discover that Jonathan is a man of character, confidence and integrity. I like this kid.

So it's no surprise that when he is introduced to David in 1 Samuel 18 that the two would hit it off. David has just slain the giant. He is a veritable hero. Scripture tell us that the "soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." (1 Samuel 18:1)

Well sure. They have a lot in common, don't they? Character. Confidence. Integrity. The list, well, kind of ends there. Think about it. David would never have run in the same circles as Jonathan. David would have never been afforded the company of the King. He's not royalty. He's not even wealthy. He's a shepherd. Under normal circumstances these two would not have been friends.

Did they have the same background? Hardly. Did they share similar interests? Unlikely. Did they have similar expectations for the future? Doubtful. I always thought these fellas were fast friends because of all they had in common. Now I think they were best friends in spite of it.

Look at the next few verses:

"And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David and his armor and even his sword and his bow and his belt." (vs. 2-4)

Jonathan does something remarkable. He gives David his most cherished and valued possessions. For Jonathan to shed his own clothing was not just sacrificial, it was monumentally significant. Jonathan was a soldier. His armor served to protect and project. It reveals that he is highly capable and highly valued. Without it he is vulnerable-in more ways than one. He literally gave David a piece of himself.

David gave nothing. What could he give to the son of a king?

Was their relationship mutually beneficial? Hardly. And Scripture records this relationship for all of human history as a hallmark of fidelity and friendship. I'd say that's worth pondering.

Meditate on that today. I'll be back on Wednesday with a way we can see this reality lived out in our own lives.

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Sharon Sloan said...

Interesting thoughts, Whitney. I love the study of the friendship of David and Jonathan. I always thought it was give and take for both....if merely the depth of love and commitment (not tangible things). David loved Jonathan so much. I think that love must have translated tangibly to Jon.

2 Samuel 1
23"Saul and Jonathan— inlife they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.

When I studied 1 & 2 Samuel, I remember telling the Lord "I want to be a Jonathan kind of friend". Sometimes that is laying it all down and just loving.

I am humbled and blessed to have wonderful girlfriends who love me and keep me accountable. I do believe each of these friendships is a precious gift from God.

Loving the "Friendship Project" Whitney! Thank you so much!


Anonymous said...

I believe Jonathon was very blessed by his friendship with David. I think the both of them understood the real value of relationship throught he eyes of God. In any relationship our hearts are to be in the giving, just as Christ gave to us, His life, we are to give of ourselves to others. The pleasure is in the giving! When we give with the expectations to have our giving reciprocated this is when disappointment can settle into our hearts. But if we give without expecting anything in return and then receive back this is the gift of true friendship. This is the kind of friendship I see when I look at Jonathon and David, they both gave from the depth of love in their hearts for one another without expectation of reciprocation. Never disappointed, and always full!! Oh, the joy of a God centered friendship!!
Blessings to all,

Lynn Cowell said...

I think different friendships are for different reasons. I have those that I am just constantly pouring into. I have those that are mutally beneficial. I think that the Lord calls us to both. We need to be investing, but I think we also need those who are investing in us!
Enjoyed your post!

prashant said...

I think that love must have translated tangibly to Jon.
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