broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Best Friends part three

Hello there, friends,

Well, today we get to take a look at one of the wonderful benefits of having a good friend. Remember, we have been looking at this topic through the eyes of a couple guys who became best friends in spite of the surrounding circumstances. What a great example Jonathan and David set for us to follow. So here is today's ...

Observation #2: True friendship is generous and unselfish.

It is highly probable that David, a poor young fellow from an ordinary family, didn’t even have decent clothes to wear. He had been in the field with sheep when his father asked him to go take some bread and cheese to his brothers in the battle with the Philistines where, as history tells us, David killed Goliath and was not allowed to return home by order of the king. David didn’t have normal fighting clothes - which is why Saul tried to have him wear the kings armor - and more than likely he hadn’t even brought along a single change of clothes. David was between the proverbial rock and a hard place!

So what happened? Jonathan literally gave David the clothes off his back. His friend needed something and he didn’t give it a second thought – he took off his robe that was probably made of better cloth than David had ever even touched and he included the tunic so David would not get cold in the night.

And then Jonathan did something unheard of. David had come with a sling, a common shepherd’s weapon, and Jonathan recognized that David would need more than that if he was being forced into military service at the kings right hand, So Jonathan gave David his sword, his bow, and his belt.

Now understand, swords were very rare and were reserved for leaders and kings. This is a most significant gift for the sword was the symbol of power. 1 Samuel 13:22 says “So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.”

In simple terms, Jonathan gave David a gift that ONLY Jonathan could give. His generosity was compounded by the addition of the bow, a weapon that could save David’s life.

The belt is also significant and the most practical of the gifts. Weapons could get very heavy, especially when they were NOT being used in warfare. A belt was where the sword’s scabbard was attached and the sheath for arrows for the bow – this was a simple yet completely necessary part of the weaponry Jonathan gave to David.

Finally, one last important detail – Jonathan did not give David A sword, bow and belt, he gave him HIS sword, bow and belt. These were not just some run of the mill gifts scratched up from the guys in the field, these were royal weapons, designed and made for the kings own son. This was unselfish generosity at its highest level, brought about by the deep friendship one man had for another.

Hear me – true friends are unselfish and generous. Not just with the leftovers, but with the things that are most precious to them. True friends share time, finances, worldly goods and resources – whatever their friend needs, if it is within their power to do so, they provide.

Are you a true friend to someone? Over the years I have been on the receiving end of many people’s unselfish generosity. My life has been enriched and my soul fed from the great bounty of good people’s love that has sustained and held me when I needed it most. Most of the time it was simply impossible for me to reciprocate. I wanted to, but it was just not possible. But these friends of mine didn’t do what they did so they would get something in return, they did it out of love and care for me. I am blest beyond measure by the love and generosity of good people down through the years. I am better equipped today to help others because of how I have been helped.

Have you ever seen the movie “Pay It Forward”? Not exactly a world class movie, but what a concept! Do something generous for no reason except that it needs done. If the truth be told, these things many times do come full circle. Oh, maybe not the same people, or the same circumstances, but you know as well as I do that a generous spirit inspires generosity in others, and that kind of attitude is something we call ALL live with.

When was the last time you showed your friendship by being unselfishly generous with a friend? What skills do you possess that you can share with those around you? What gifts have been given to you by your Creator that maybe someone else could use?

Why not give generosity and unselfishness a try today. Do a random act of kindness and who knows, you might end up with a life long friend out of the deal! As my Mom used to say, “Ya never know….”.

Till tomorrow,


Anonymous Terry said...

Best friends like David and Jonathan are hard to find in our superficial society. Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to get things done before the day is over so they can get up the next day only to maintain the same hectic schedule. Selfishness not selflessness seems to be the major drive behind so much of what we do. How wonderful to see a relationship like David and Jonathan had that went far beyond the norm of even their society. We have much to learn from them. Then I remember the close friendship between Dwight and I and my mind goes back to the many hours we spent in prayer and fellowship, and I am pleased to say Dwight is one of the best friends I have ever had. I sure miss our times together brother. Because of you I can understand the possibilities of true friendship like David and Jonathan had. Blessings on you.


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