Risking It All For Friendship
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” – Proverbs 13:20
It’s impossible to live the right kind of life when you have the wrong kind of friends. Who you surround yourself with is a reflection of who you will eventually become. I think that’s why we all desire to cultivate godly friendships that are rooted in Christ and surround ourselves with others that are running the same race of faith. The challenge is not only to search and find these friends, but to be that friend for someone else.
When we are bound together with others, we allow them to strengthen and edify us upon the firm foundation of Christ’s love. We were made for relationship, so we deserve authentic friendships. We need others that will help us carry our Cross and keep us accountable. For true friends lead you to Christ, not away from Christ.
“Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:3-5
It was the faith of the friends that saved the paralytic man. In the same way we are to bring one another to Christ, the four friends brought the paralysed man to Jesus and exposed him to the love of Christ. Without the faith of the four friends, the Spirit would have never touched the paralytic man and he would’ve stayed paralysed in his sins. It was the faith of these friends that raised him out of the darkness and set him free.
Like the friends who raised the paralysed man to the roof, our group of friends shouldn’t be people dragging us down, but rather people raising us up. We need friends that won’t give up on us, friends that will not take the easy way out but will strive to carry us to Jesus, no matter the cost. We need friends that won’t just give godly advice but will pray with us and pray for us.
Yet, when we get hurt or rejected, our natural instinct is to shy away and hide ourselves from the rest of the world. The enemy tells us that isolation is the solution to our pain; that if we keep to ourselves, we don’t give others the power to hurt us. But this is simply a lie that the enemy uses to rob us of our relationship with others.
Ever since the fall of mankind, we’ve begun to cover up and conceal ourselves. Yet, now we don’t hide behind fig leaves, we hide behind filters because we’re scared to become vulnerable and open up about our real struggles, fearing rejection.
The Bible beautifully depicts the covenantal relationship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan risked it all for relationship. Through becoming totally vulnerable and handing over his weapons, Jonathan was essentially giving David everything that could be used to stab him in the back.
Whether that’s letting someone in on a secret or into the ugly parts of your life, true friendships are those that risk it all by being transparent with one another.
“Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.” – 1 Samuel 18:3-4
It takes courage to hold a weapon, but it takes more courage to give it over and surrender, for Jonathan was strong enough to risk being stabbed in the back. It’s the reason why true friendships are built on trust, as they let each other in, not each other go.
Jonathan was born into royalty whereas David was a shepherd boy. Through handing over his royal garments, Jonathan was prepared to hand over his future throne to David. He valued David’s friendship so much, that he didn’t care if David was a potential rival to the throne. For the two were bound in covenant to mutually support each other, rather than envy one another.
The friendship between Jonathan and David is a testimony that godly friendships do exist. Jonathan goes on to intercede for David, by petitioning his father not to kill him and once again, he risks it all for friendship. When times get tough, friendships like these become stronger and more durable because the covenant gets renewed each time.
The challenge is to pray for one another and draw one another to Christ. It’s about finding a group of brothers and sisters in Christ to do life with. So, who’s the Jonathan to your David?