"David the Friend"Stuart JonesMany people today are looking for meaningful relationships, yet so few actually find them. We are becoming an increasingly private society and it seems fewer people than ever have life-long intimate friendships. Still, the desire for this kind of relationship is necessary. We value these friendships. A biblical example of real friendship is found in 1 Samuel 20. The story of David and Jonathan’s friendship is one of the most powerful pictures of steadfast love shown between two friends. Even though Jonathan knows that David will become king instead of him, he still remains committed to him. He embraces David’s glory, even when it comes at his own expense. But he asks David to make a covenant with him: “show me the steadfast love from the Lord… and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever.” (1 Samuel 20.14-15) As we have seen, Jonathan clothes David in royal robes, he intercedes with his father on David’s behalf, and he even risks his life to save David. His commitment to David is one of complete dedication. And in return, David is committed to Jonathan. It says, “he loved him as he loved his own soul.” (1 Samuel 18:1 & 3, 20:17) Romans 12:9-10 says: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Authentic community is the core of Christianity. Jonathan and David’s relationship reveals that authentic community and authentic friendship occurs when we meet the real needs of our friends for the right reasons and in the right way.