If you’ve ever been hurt by a good friend, you might still be wondering, Is there really such a thing as best friends? Your best way to find out is to take a look at two totally committed friends in the Bible, David and Jonathan. The story of their friendship is found in 1 Samuel 18-20. If you read the whole three chapters, you’ll discover that best friends do exist-and that a best friend is someone who
• speaks positively about you when others don’t (see 19:4)
• listens to your problems (see 20:1-2)
• does things for you, regardless of the inconvenience (see 20:4)
• loves you even when you are unlovable (see 20:17)
• protects you from the bad guys (see 20:19)
• hurts when you hurt (see 20:34)
• understands your deepest feelings (see 20:41)
• is committed to you (see 20:42)
We can only be that kind of friend to a few people—and it takes time and work to develop and keep those friends. Making friends isn’t a mystery. There are some skills that help us form friendships that last a lifetime:
• Like yourself. If you don’t like yourself, it’s tough to like others.
• Accept people. Each of us is unique. Sometimes we’re obnoxious and offensive. You have to look past people’s faults.
• Be positive. You’ll be a breath of fresh air to people if you can avoid criticizing them. Learn to build people up.
• Keep secrets. Have you ever said, “So-and-so told me not to tell anyone, but I know she won’t mind if I tell you.” Stop it! Immediately!
• Be patient. It takes time to build close and committed friendships.
• Be a good listener. Be interested in the other person. Get more information. And don’t feel like you always have to jump in with your own stories.
Can you see one or two skills you want to practice? Get at it-because God can’t wait to teach you the kind of friendship shared by David and Jonathan!
TALK: How are you doing at being a David-and-Jonathan kind of friend?
PRAY: God, help us grow in our skills at being great friends.
ACT: Pick one friendship skill and practice it today.