There are many people without close friends. I read that more than seventy percent of pastors have no close friendships. Recently a godly elder told me he had no close friend his whole life, and he is already in his eighties. Why is this true of many, perhaps you as well?
I had a close friend at university years ago, we were sharing our secrets, disappointments, accomplishments, literally everything. This was the one guy that really pulled me through when I fell apart. He was there when I broke up with my student darling, but then he was there when we graduated. Sad to say, once we became pastors we got busy and thousands of kilometers apart, contact became scarce – life happened. Now I have many friends, but none really close, BUT my wife became my best friend ever.
What I am looking for in a best, close friend? Michael Hyatt wrote in his blog about the characteristics he is looking for in a close friend, and I agree whole heartedly:
I want someone who …
- Shows up for me when I am in a crisis.
- Listens empathetically without judging.
- Is willing to pitch in when I am too embarrassed to ask.
- Affirms me when I doubt myself.
- Reminds me of who I am, when I forget.
- Celebrates my wins and mourns my losses.
- Remembers the things that are important to me.
- Trusts me with their secrets.
Do you wish you had that kind of friend? Well, God says that you reap what you sow (e.g., see Galatians 6:7).
When I read this morning from 1 Samuel 18, it was clear to me that this was the kind of friend David had in Jonathan. Whenever we think of friendships, we will often refer to David and Jonathan.
- They grounded their friendship in the Lord, not just each other.
- Nothing were allowed to become between them, not family (Saul) or difficult circumstances, they were there for each other. Jonathan’s dad (Saul) tried everything to kill David. Jonathan, the crown prince, realised he will not become the next king, but David will. Though they stuck together and have been close friends.
- When their friendship was tested, they stood together.
- They had a healthy friendship, which held till the end
Would you be a friend, whenever your rights and privileges are at stake?
To have a close friend, you should be one even if it may cost you….