Tools to Thrive as a Man of God Day 3: Deep Friendships
“A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17, ESV)
As a man of God, why is it important to have deep friendships? We have to come to terms with the fact that we live in a very sinful world. It’s already been expressed in this study that Satan will stop at nothing to tear you down as a man of God. If we rely on our own strength, we will most certainly fail. We need God! We need His strength and encouragement. While we certainly can receive these things from God directly, often He uses friendships to help fulfill our needs.
So, what does a good friend look like? Well, for starters, the friendship needs to be founded in Christ. It doesn’t matter how different two people are, if their relationship is anchored in Christ, it will grow. I want to describe to you for a moment my best friend.
There is very little we have in common. When it comes to sports, we root for opposite teams; in fact, they are rivals, and I literally can’t stand his team! He likes hunting and sleeping outdoors; I like showers and sleeping in a bed. He has good hair, and I’m bald. We literally have nothing in common. We joke all the time that if we didn’t have Jesus, we wouldn’t be friends—seriously. Our relationship has always been rooted in Christ. In college we would call each other and talk about Scripture. We are both married and have kids, but still find time to study the Word of God together over Facetime. When tragedy strikes in our lives, the other one is always right there to share in the sorrow and pray. No matter what is going on, I know he is one I can rely on to encourage me to continue on for Christ.
One of the greatest examples of friendship that we find in the Scriptures is between Jonathan and David. Scripture tells us they were “knit” together. Jonathan made a covenant with David and showed him undeniable loyalty. Jonathan’s father had made David his enemy, but that never changed Jonathan’s support for his friend. Jonathan humbly served David and cared for his needs during a very trying time. David was constantly fleeing for his life; the only way he was going to survive was to put his trust in God. There were probably many times when David looked at Jonathan, and saw God, causing his soul to be uplifted. Even though Jonathan was the rightful heir to the throne, he acknowledged David as God’s chosen king. He loved David and was a true friend to the end.
This is what friendship should look like: placing the needs of another before your own; standing by their side during times of trial and sharing in their grief. Men of God need these relationships to help them stand against the attacks and temptations of this world. Furthermore, they need godly friendships to help them continue to grow in the Lord. We need to pray that God will bring these individuals into our lives, and that He will help us to be a godly friend to those around us.