Test of true friendship

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you" -- at least that's what the plaque in the gift shop said.

The second book of Samuel in the Bible tells a brief tale of three friends who risked their lives for the king. The men overhead the king mentioning that he would like a drink of water from the well at Jerusalem. To get that drink, someone would have to break ranks, sneak through the enemy's camp without being detected, retrieve the water and sneak back through the camp without losing a drop. These three were just the men to do that.

God-honoring friendship takes risk. These three took the risk because they were more concerned about meeting the desire of their king than their own. God-honoring friendship is not self-serving but takes risks to serve others.

This act of bravery doesn't end well. All three survived the adventure. Yet after these three men delivered the cup that they risked their lives for, the king poured it out onto the ground. His reasoning was he could not accept a gift that came at such a high price.

At that point the deed was already done. At that point lives had been risked, water had been retrieved. Why frustrate the men who took such a chance for their king?

Sometimes friendship does not make sense. People you admire will disappoint you. People you look up to will fall off their pedestals. Nothing is said as to how this event shaped the relationship of these men. They remained loyal to the king, but we are left to speculate how they interacted in the future. Perhaps the account leaves us there on purpose.

The outcome of all of our relationships is not known to us. We can picture our ideals and forecast potential storms but we do not know the full course of the journey we are on.

God-honoring, deep, rich and authentic friendships dance with risk. Will this person listen to me? Will they betray me with what I share? What stupid decisions will they make that they will need me to walk through with them?

God did not create us to journey through life alone. Authentic friends are the one who know you warts and all and they still like you. God-honoring friendship risks, see how much he risked for you.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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