broken but not crushed

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

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Monday, June 26, 2006

Best Friends

Hi there friends and neighbors,

This morning Susie had on the morning news. The lead story was about study just completed that said Americans have fewer real friends than we have ever had. How sad! The news report said that there are lots of reasons people don’t have good friends, but that not having them is very unhealthy. It also went on to say that 70% of those who DO have friends say that their only close friend is their spouse.

So many of you had something to say last week when I posted the blog about friends. The comments, and especially the emails, were filled with your own stories. I heard your success stories and I also heard your struggle. The general consensus is that it is really tough making real friends, and that best friends take a lot of work. But some of you also said you would do almost ANYTHING to have just one person on this planet who really cared.

It seems God created us with the inborn need for the sound and the touch of another person - not just any person, but someone you could call a friend. As most of you know, I am a former pastor – former because of brokenness, and a Christian. Therefore, when I am confronted with a major dilemma, like this issue of so many people hurting for a real friend, my natural bent is to turn to the Bible for answers.

What I find there is that people are God’s passion. We, for reasons known only to our Creator, are incredibly important to God. And because of that truth, he absolutely loves it when WE love people, too! It is our Creator’s deep desire that we have healthy, growing friendships.

In addition, I believe that best friends are a very special gift from God. I think God sometimes uses his own, great power to create situations where we can make strong, special, lifetime friendships. It wouldn’t be the first time…

The Bible talks about a couple guys who became the best of friends. David and Jonathan had a most unlikely friendship. Truth be told, the very real challenges they had to overcome to be best friends would have made most people just quit trying. I’ve heard of parents not liking their kid’s friends, but Jonathan’s Dad, King Saul, hated David so much he was trying to kill him – actually sent a whole army to hunt him down! Not exactly the best beginning for a lifelong friendship, huh. My parents didn't like some of my friends, but they never sent out the militia to kill them off!

Let's talk - Over the next few days I want to make some observations about the kind of friendship that stands the test of time: good friends, REAL friends, lifelong BEST friends. I want you to think with me and talk with me. What you have to say is important and significant. That's why we are revisiting this hot topic issue in the first place. And to help us understand God's point of view we are going to use a small paragraph from the Bible about David and Jonathan to help us get a good grip.

So you don’t have to look it up I’ll just print the PDV (Pastor Dwight's Version) here. But if you want to read the whole story in your own version, it’s found in the Old Testament, in the first of two books called “Samuel” (my son’s name!) and the 18th chapter. David just killed the giant Goliath and had instantly become a national hero. Saul was entertaining the ugly little bug of jealousy. The story goes like this…

“After David had finished talking with Saul [the king], Jonathan and David became best friends, and they loved each other like real men. But from that day on Saul kept David at the palace instead of letting him go back home. Jonathan made a covenant (an absolute promise, a binding contract) with David because he loved him as himself. Now David hadn’t even packed a suitcase, so Jonathan gave David one of his favorite robes and his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.”

Think about the implications of that kind of friendship, and tune in tomorrow for my first observation in our serious look at Best Friends.

See you then,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dwight,
This is your "favorite" sister-in-law. Becky, of course, who else did you think?
I have to totally agree with you about not letting pain rule your life. I have chronic pain everyday, but I refuse to let it define who I am.
If I let pain rule, I wouldn't be able to play with my grandkids, sell real estate, as well as spending time with Ron, and other family and friends.
I wouldn't have followed God's call to fly 30 hours by plane to Hubli, India to work with the handicapped at "equip India" .
I have met numberous people who live with the chronic pain associated with Fibromyalgia, so many have just given up on living. They just curl up on a couch or bed and let pain win. No way is Fibromyalgia going to define who I am.
You sister-in-law, Becky

Blogger Papa D said...

You go girl! When I read Becky's response I just about shouted - it would have scared the neighbors so I refrained. But this is such a GREAT way to live. Staring down the pain that most of us can't begin to imagine and LIVING in spite of it. So proud to be in your family tree!


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