This week, we will explore 8 marks of a better friend, taken from the example of the lives of David and Jonathan.

Friendship is a much-underestimated aspect of spirituality. It’s every bit as significant as prayer and fasting. Like the sacramental use of water and bread and wine, friendship takes what’s common in human experience and turns it into something holy. Friendship with David complicated Jonathan’s life enormously. He risked losing his father’s favor and willingly sacrificed his own royal future. But neither the risk nor the loss deterred him; he became and stayed David’s friend.

Jonathan’s friendship was essential to David’s life. It’s highly unlikely that David could have persisted in serving Saul without the friendship of Jonathan. Jonathan, in striking contrast to his father, discerned God in David, comprehended the danger and difficulty of his anointing, and made a covenant of friendship with him. Jonathan’s friendship entered David’s soul in a way that Saul’s hatred never did.

Frederick Buechner et al., Faith That Matters: 365 Devotions from Classic Christian Leaders (San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2018).

This week’s music: