A Friend Like Jonathan – Dr Kristen Dang

A friend like Jonathan

The story of Jonathan is incredible. Imagine having a friend like him – selfless, encouraging and courageous! We all need ‘Jonathans’ to spur us on in the calling God has given us, and we can also be a ‘Jonathan’ to those around us. so what does this look like?

 

Real Friendship

“… the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (1 Samuel 18:1)

Jonathan loved David. There was no self-gain or jealousy involved in his friendship with David. In fact, Jonathan saw God’s purpose for David as Israel’s future king and supported him. The king’s son not only made a covenant with David, but also gave his robe, armour, sword, bow and belt. God commands us to love Him, and also to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31). We have an example of this in Jonathan who humbled himself before the will of God such that his friendship with David was not marred by competition, comparison or jealousy.

 

Courage and Truth

It is not always easy to speak the truth or share things honestly with others. In 1 Samuel 20, we see David and Jonathan discuss whether King Saul means to harm David. David believes Saul wants to harm him, but Jonathan initially disagrees. However, instead of stubbornly insisting on his viewpoint, Jonathan goes to find out the truth. He then courageously stands up for David’s innocence before his father, and tells David the news, sending him away from harm with tears.

We might not always agree with one another and it takes humility to admit we might be wrong. To stand for truth can be scary, but it is the right thing to do and when we do this, we encourage and help others.

 

Encourage

Sometime later, David finds himself in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. He had been on the run from King Saul and had also just inquired of God to discover that the men of Keilah would betray him. In this time of distress, Jonothan comes up to encourage him.

“And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.” (1 Samuel 23:16)

Everyone goes through tough times and we can, like Jonathan, strengthen each other in God. We do this by reminding each other of God’s faithfulness, and by affirming the gifts and callings He has given us.

 

Colleagues and Family

We are not alone. God’s church is family and we are called to build one another up in Christ! There are opportunities to do this everywhere. We can send a message of encouragement to a colleague, listen to someone who is hurting, support someone who is taking a stand for truth, celebrate with someone in their success.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Jonathan supported and encouraged David as he fulfilled the things God had in store for him. Is there someone we can encourage in Christ today?

 

Kristen is the artist for the front cover of this issue of Luke’s Journal.

 

Kristen Dang photo - squareDr Kristen Dang is a family doctor, and author of the e-book An Internship with Jesus. She lives with her husband and daughter in Adelaide, and writes a regular blog (lostnowfoundk) on life with God. Her second blog (lilyofthevalleysk), aims to share her love for Jesus through the creative arts.

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