Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Risk of Friendship

I go to a MOPS meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, and am in charge of devotions for this year, so on those Thursdays I'll be posting here what I say there.

This year's MOPS theme is "Take the Plunge"--in other words, take a risk.

We've all probably been down the slide at our local swimming pool:  it is exhilarating and scary but fun--and it goes a lot faster than you might think!  This week's specific  topic is friendship.  Friendship can or can’t be risky, and there are a couple of different types of friendships we have:

  •  Acquaintances (not really risky at all)
  • Friends (can be true, deep and intimate, and that is really risky)

For me, acquaintances are easy, friendships are a lot harder.  I have moved around and it takes time to develop deep, intimate relationships with people.

Let's look at an example of a true, deep intimate friendship in the Bible:  David and Jonathan.  It's kind of ironic, because we don’t think of men as having intimate friendships; we think that is our area of expertise, but David and Jonathan were closer than many friendships we may have today.  Here are some descriptions of their friendship:

  • Souls bound together (1 Sam 18:3)
  • Jonathan took “great delight in David” (1 Sam 19:1)
  • They loved each other as their own lives (1 Sam 20: 17)
  • Not divided in life or in death (2 Sam 1:23)
  • Their love surpassed that of the love of women (2 Sam 1:26)

How many of us have a friendship like that?  I’m not sure I do.  And, there’s more:

  • Jonathan gave up relationship with his father, King Saul, by taking David’s side.  He warned David about Saul’s plotting against him and was willing for David to become king and not want the job for himself
  • David was distressed when Jonathan died.  He later then learned about Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son. When Jonathan died, Mephibosheth’s nurse fled with him, he fell and was injured and was then lame after that.  Because of his friendship with Jonathan, David brings Mephibosheth into his own home, promises to give him the land that had been Saul’s, and promises that he will always eat at David’s table.  David will take care of his best friend’s son because of his love for his best friend.

SO.  What risks are you willing to take for a friendship?  Have you ever gone against your parent’s wishes in order to stick by a friend?  How about looking ahead to when our kids are teens?  What happens when they choose a friend over us? How will you “take the plunge” into friendship this year?

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