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October 5, 2014 - Having or Being a Friend? (King David Series) - I Samuel 17:55-18:3

posted Oct 7, 2014, 11:40 AM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jan 28, 2015, 6:55 AM ]
A friend is one “...who isn't looking for someone to use, is leisurely enough to find out what’s really going on in us, is secure enough not to exploit our weaknesses or to attack our strengths, recognizes our inner life and understands the difficulty of living out our inner convictions, confirms what is deepest within us. A friend.” ~Eugene Peterson describing a friend like Jonathan

The problems with understanding the friendship between Jonathan and David:
  1. It is not a relationship in which they have anything in common.
    • Your soul belongs to God. Only He can give you friends who have access to it.
  2. It is not a safe place for either of them.
    • The friendships God creates for us aren’t safe. There is nothing safe about letting someone look into your soul.
  3. The friendship is not mutual.
    • The Bible doesn't really focus on mutuality in friendship. Rather its concern is with the giving of grace, and grace always costs the giver.
  4. It is not a friendship in which they spend a lot of time together.
    • If God created this friendship, then Saul couldn't destroy it and neither could separation.
Lessons:
  • Our struggle with friendships we do have is that we see them for what they are not.
  • A friend is as much a spiritual discipline as prayer, Bible study, worship, and giving. And like all disciplines, friendship isn't always fun. It is a discipline.
  • God has chosen to make your ordinary, flawed relationships a means of grace. But it is up to us to choose to receive this grace.
  • The reason we have such a hard time with a friend who is knit to our soul isn't that we don’t want a close friend, but we idealize the notion of friendship. This idealized notion of friendship is of what we want or think we need in a friend. But that makes friendship all about us, and that isn't friendship.
  • We assume we are David in need of a friend like Jonathan, who was so giving. What we should be praying is to be a friend like Jonathan.

Pastor Jim Spon | I Samuel 17:55-18:3