Friends keep their promises to each other
Showing preferential love to the people God has given you in your life brings Jesus glory in a way that the whole world can see.
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!” Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” (2 Samuel 9:7-8)
When David had finally become king, after a long and drawn-own saga, among the first things he did was to find what remained of Jonathan’s family.
Now, in most historical contexts, any surviving family of the previous dynasty would have been killed. Just across the board. Otherwise they might have tried to stage a coup and take over the country. But that’s not what David had in mind. He wanted to do good to Jonathan’s family.
Is that just because David was a good guy?
Well, we know that he was a man after God’s own heart, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But look at David’s motivation when he told Jonathan’s son why he was doing such kind, generous things. “Because of my promise to your father.”
David had promised Jonathan that their families would be kind to each other, that they would serve each other out of love and respect. And David intended to keep that promise, just as Jonathan had been kind to him when he hadn’t needed to be.
How many of us have friends like that in our lives? Friends like that are people you can rely on. They are the ones who value you more than value their own time and goals. (That’s not to say they don’t have goals too, but do you have a friend who would set aside a work project to help you?)
If you have a friend who always shows up for you, thank God for them. Being that kind of a friend is hard. Life is full of pressures and stresses that try to convince us that relationships and community are less important than financial gain.
And if you are that kind of friend, let me encourage you that God sees you. He knows how much you care, and He has such amazing blessings planned for you.
It’s difficult to put someone else ahead of yourself. It goes against every natural instinct in our hearts, but showing preferential love to the people God has given you in your life brings Jesus glory in a way that the whole world can see.
Show up for your friends. Show up for your community. The best relationships in your life won’t happen by accident.
Questions for Reflection
What has prevented you from showing up as a friend in some of your relationships?
Where do you believe the limit is in showing “preferential love” to another person?
What role does emotional health play in a friendship?
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