In this world today where people have become so competitive and self – centered, true friendship is something that is to be valued and cherished. It is the kind of friendship that puts oneself at risk for the sake of another. I am reminded of a prince called Jonathan, the son of King Saul who harbored a fugitive named David whom his father wanted to kill. Jonathan had to choose who to be loyal to; his father or his friend. The strength of this friendship prevailed in the face of danger. David survived the evil plan of Saul because of Jonathan's friendship. This covenant friendship resulted in Mephibosheth being shown favor by King David long after his grandfather had been deposed and deceased. I believe true friends, who are not so because of convenience, still exist. I write this article as a tribute to them as I share eight insights on the nature of such uncommon association.
1. It does not matter how long true friends have been out of touch, they will reconnect and carry on as if there has been no passage of time. Such friendships stand the test of time and tribulation. It is the stuff that lifetime partnerships in business and ministry, for example, are made of.
2. Geographical location does not demarcate nor distance these kinds of uncommon associations. Jonathan was located in the palace and David in the wilderness, but that did not translate into isolation but revealed Jonathan's determination to help his friend carry out his divine assignment.
3. True friends know and are interested in the work of God in you. Jonathan knew that his father (King Saul) had been rejected by God and King David had been anointed in his place. He was willing to serve his friend even at his father's expense, because it served God's purpose.
4. The Bible alludes to the fact that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, one who will be there in tough times and good times. I am reminded however of Job and his dubious friends who were not really encouraging him during the tough time he experienced. Desist from negative associations.
5. Everyone needs someone who will accept them as they are and not try to change them. The fact that we are very good "buddies" means that I am already qualified and I do not need to prove a point or try to earn approval.
6. Loving your neighbor as yourself and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you are the primary characteristics and foundation of friendships that are timeless, tested and true.
7. Friendships can make or destroy an individual; they are not to be entered into lightly because they can derail you from your destiny. Wisdom and Godly counsel found in the Bible encourages Christians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
8. Friends give life and add value to each other. The Lord Jesus had twelve of them, whom He taught everything that the father had taught him. These men went on spreading the gospel and carrying on the work He had started.
I encourage you to nurture friendships for the future, not those that are just for "old time's sake", which have faulty foundations .. Embrace friends that are faithful, dedicated and strong and you will most certainly become like those you hang around with. Remember if you play with puppies they will lick your mouth. Develop friendships that reflect your aspirations.