True Friends: The Power of Love

Friends

True Friends - A Studio 1-37 original imageDo you have friends? I don’t mean acquaintances, I mean really true friends. Friends that are there when you call putting aside their needs for yours. Perhaps you have a group of friends like that but most of us have just one. Sometimes we consider that special friend as our spouse or other family members but thinking outside of those familial relationship commitments is there another person you consider as a true friend? True friends love you beyond the surface. They see you as you really are but love you anyway. True friends love you as they love themselves and that is where the relationships of best friends develop.

I had the privilege last week, to reunite with a friend like that. We had not physically seen one another in almost 7 years yet within a short time span it was as if we were never separated. Our time of sharing together covered vast topics of experiences, ideas, hurts, and faith. It is a blessing to hold a dear friend like that and a rare earthly treasure.

True friends draw closer together when the friendship is tested because they don’t allow anything to come between them. A true friend remains such until the end. To have a true friend the relationship begins not with people but with God. Lasting relationships form because the relationship is first based on a commitment to God and then to each other. True friendship feels the tug to one another because it is more than what is seen. It is a careful balance of love that isn’t always visual but that is assuredly felt.

Soaring Love

Have you ever flown a kite? Do you remember the tug on the string as the wind lifted the craft higher and higher while you held tightly to balance the control? There are life lessons learned in kite flying like in the story of a man who watched a boy one day out in a field flying a kite. The man noticed there was something odd about the way the boy was standing and holding on to the string. So, he walked up to the boy and saw that the boy was blind. He asked, ”Do you like flying kites?” The boy replied, ”I sure do.” This puzzled the man prompting him to ask, ”How can that be when you can’t see it?” The boy answered, ”I may not be able to see it, but I can feel it tugging. I work with the kite and together we soar!”

Love isn’t Always Seen

Love is a powerful thing and just like the boy and kite, it can’t always be seen yet the tug lets us know that it is there. This is where love can soar. David, in the Bible, had a friend like that in Jonathan. This is one of the most shining examples of friendship ever displayed. Jonathan shows his unselfish devotion to his friend David, through his graceful self-effacement by giving up his succession to the throne. Jonathan first committed to God recognizing that it was God’s plan for David to take the throne, but he didn’t allow that to stand in the way of his friendship with David. For following Jonathan’s commitment to God was his commitment to his friend David. This devotion produced one of the deepest and noblest stories of friendship in history.

Jonathan’s friendship began with a commitment because he understood the love of God and that allowed him to love David as he loved himself. It is this love that Christ commands of us. Giving us not only a deeper understanding of God’s love and commitment to us but the privilege of gaining the added security of true earthly friends that stand ready to help to create a more positive life.

And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David because he loved him as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 18:3 (NLT)

Commit, Love, and Chip the Rest Away

When you commit to God with your heart, soul, and mind you experience the power of an overwhelming love. A love that you can then share with others. This commitment to God is the greatest commandment given to us by Christ and supersedes everything else. (Matthew 22:37 – 38) But it is quickly followed by learning to love others as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) The second naturally follows the first and it is in this position that true and lasting earthly relationships built with others create a fulfilling life.

But to reach that level of commitment to show our love to not only God and others we must chip everything else away and concentrate fully on that love. Just like the man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He felt the big stone was just unattractive and took away from his property, but it was too big to move and too expensive to have someone else do it for him. So, he decided to work on it a bit at a time using a hammer and chisel. He worked diligently at the stone committing his time to turn it into something else. When he finished, it was a beautiful breath-taking stone elephant. His neighbor asked, ”How did you ever carve such a marvelous likeness of an elephant?” The man answered, ”I just chipped away everything that didn’t look like an elephant!”

Recognizing the True Value of Friendship

Sometimes we must view our life in this way too. Chipping away at all the things that don’t look like love. But, this work can only begin when you first, make a life commitment to God. When you take the first step of commitment what follows is His help to love the others around you. It is from this that true relational friendships begin. For through this commitment you develop the loyalty stance of Jonathan, that the loss of riches is better than the loss of a true friend.

Challenge yourself today to allow your convictions to commit or recommit yourself to God allowing His love to flow through you to others building relationships that are long-lasting. Find your motivation in Christ with the positivity that will abound in your life when committing to love God and then others. Allow His comfort to surround you in knowing that He returns your love beyond anything you can ever imagine.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Love is not blind. Love is the only thing that sees.

Frank Crane

Extra Study

1 Samuel 18, 1 Samuel 20, 2 Samuel 1:17 – 27, Matthew 22:37 ”“ 40

What are your thoughts?

Do you have a friend like Jonathan? Have you ever contemplated the relationships of friendship with your commitment to God? Share your thoughts on committing to God, loving others as yourself and the friendships that develop from these commandments.

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