There’s a cool story in the Hebrew Bible about a guy named Jonathan and his friend, who is his armor bearer. It’s found in 1 Samuel 14. Jonathan, who is King Saul’s son, had an idea. He wanted to take on the enemy army by himself, with just the help of his armor bearer. So he snuck out, leaving behind his father and his father’s army, in order to climb up a rocky hill and fight the enemy garrison. Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come, let us go over to the garrison…It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” (6). I love the fact that Jonathan was not even certain himself, but was willing to risk, so long that God’s will was done. Then his armor bearer responds, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” (7). So they devise a plan, strike, and kill 20 men on their first pass. In the end, they won.
There are some profound lessons on friendship in this little story. First, it teaches us to pick friends who will challenge us and make us better. Don’t settle for friends who will bring you down, who won’t stretch you or your faith. Pick the friends who have wild ideas, huge vision, and are on the offensive in life. Second, friends believe in each other. They entrust the other with their life, choosing to lose it all with the other on the battlefield of their dreams. Third, conflict doesn’t destroy their relationship, but deepen it. Instead of the conflict being between the friends, they were united in their conflict against a common enemy. Friends wage war together against the foes in life. Fourth, friends commit to each other. “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” The best thing a friend can do is not to have a solution for every problem, but to give his commitment to be with the other no matter what.
Do your friends tend to fight against you or with you? Are you committed to them no mater what, or so long as things work out for you? Do you help each other’s dreams come true?
© Samuel Kee, 2012