Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18: 1-4
After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends. 1 Samuel 18:1
IT’S A QUESTION that may have puzzled you ever since you got socially burned back in first or second grade. You know, when you didn’t get invited to the party everyone else in school got invited to. You might still be wondering, “Is there really such a thing as ‘best friends’?”
The best way to find out is to look at two totally committed Bible-time friends, David and Jonathan. The story of their friendship is found in 1 Samuel 18-20. In these chapters you will discover that a best friend is someone who …
- loves you no matter what (20: 17)
- speaks positively about you when others don’t (19:4)
- listens to your problems (20:1-2)
- does things for you, regardless of the inconvenience (20:4)
- protects you from the bad guys (20:19)
- hurts when you hurt (20:34)
- understands your deepest feelings (20:41)
- is committed to you (20:42)
It would be great if you could have hundreds of best friends. But in real life, you can only be that kind of friend to just a few people — it takes time and skill to develop and keep those friends. But making friends isn’t a mystery. Apply these skills and they will help you form friendships that will last a lifetime:
Feel good about yourself. Develop a good self-image. If you don’t like yourself, it’s tough to like others.
Accept people for who they are. Each of us is unique. Sometimes we’re obnoxious and offensive. You have to look past people’s faults.
Be positive and encouraging. You’II be a breath of fresh air to people if you can back off the constant criticism most people hear. Learn to build people up.
Practice confidentiality. You’ve probably heard yourself saying, “So-and-so told me not to tell anyone, but I know she won’t mind if I tell you.” Stop talking!
Be patient. It takes time to build close and committed friendships.
Be a good listener. Be interested. Reflect on what’s being said. And don’t think you always have to jump in with your own stories.
REFLECT: How are you doing at being a great friend?
PRAY: Check out the friendship qualities listed above. Which do you lack? Ask God to help you develop them.
What is a healthy self-image? Watch here.