Think back to your childhood. Did you have a favorite stuffed animal? A toy that came alive to you? Did you have an imaginary friend that would join you in life’s adventures?
It seems many children do. It is part of being a child and really part of being human. We all long to have a friend, companionship. Someone to laugh with and cry with. Someone to share the joys and struggles with.
Over the last six months, I have watched my daughter become attached to a particular pink bear. She wants to sleep with the bear and throughout the day she finds the bear just to give it a snuggle. When she is hurting or tired she often wants to hold her special bear. There is a measure of comfort in the familiarity of the soft pink fur.
I have truly enjoyed watching her grow in affection toward her bear. And I pray one day that comfort she feels with her bear will be found even greater in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As I reflect on companionship and friendship I think of examples in the Bible. We can attach ourselves to things or people. Sometimes it is good and other times it is very unhealthy for us.
Jonathan and David had a dear friendship: 1 Samuel 20:41-42 As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from where he had been hiding near the stone pile. Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town. NLT Take some time to read their story in 1 Samuel today. Let the Lord speak to you through it.
Proverbs warns of companionship with unhealthy things:
Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. NIV
Proverbs 26:7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father. ESV
Proverbs 29:3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. NIV
And then there was Abraham, a friend of God. James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. NKJV What did Abraham possess that made him a friend of God? Abraham obeyed. Abraham had complete faith in God and trusted Him enough to put his own son on the altar.
What kind of friendship are we striving for? Are we seeking to fully rely, completely trust in our Creator? Or are we aiming to be buddies with the successful ministry leader or the wealthy neighbor? A friendship that will make us “look good.” What is more valuable? At the end of your life, who do you want to be called a friend of…the world or God?
James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ESV
Take some time to talk and listen to the Lord today about your friendships.