Thursday, October 20, 2011


I meet with a group of guys on Thursday mornings at Panera and we have been going through a book called “The Disciplines of a Godly Man.” The latest chapter was on friends and used the example of Jonathan and David. My mom always used to tell me the story of Jonathan and David from the Bible and tell me that that was where my name came from. She even had a little 45 record with a song called “Jonathan” on it that she would play for me growing up.

As we talked about friends this morning, I really got to thinking about all of the friends that I have in my life. I have been blessed with some great friends who I have known for years. There have also been some others who have felt like old friends even after only a few months or years together. These kinds of friends are invaluable and I can’t even begin to say what they mean to me.

When I was younger and more stupid than I am today, back in my 20s, I actually had the notion that I would stop making friends. I argued that Jesus hung out with 12 friends and only considered 3 of them to be really close. If he could do it, so could I. Of course, it’s never a good thing to justify your stupidity with the Bible…but people do it every day, unfortunately. I announced to my friends that they were among the elite because I would no longer be taking applications for friendship in the “Jon Club.”

Looking back at it, I’m pretty ashamed that I would even have thought those kinds of things. Some of the greatest and most reliable friends that I have were made after my declaration. Thank God that I didn’t follow through with my “brilliant” idea.

As I thought about close friends this morning, there were 5 people that came to my mind. All of them have been there for me in crucial times in my life. Some have rescued me from situations that I had gotten myself into. Some stuck of for me when others were coming down on me. Some were shoulders to cry on. Some offered incredible wisdom, advice, and support in the midst of some very difficult situations in my life. For these 5 men, I am grateful.

I am a fairly introspective person, so ponderings like this can be dangerous for me. As I began to think about these 5 friends, I began to wonder if I have been there for them in the ways that they have been there for me. I would like to think that I have, but I’m not sure.

The thing about good friends is that they don’t keep score. Really true friends are not ones who keep a tally sheet to make sure that they have been getting as much as they have been giving. While they don’t act as doormats, they certainly don’t nitpick about whether they’re being cared for unless there really is an issue.

Good friends are the kinds that you can go for longer periods without talking to and the next time you talk, it feels like no time has passed since the last time. While I regret that I can’t talk to my close friends as often as I would like, I appreciate the fact that they aren’t “high maintenance.”

As much as I keep telling myself that it’s a stage of life, this busy season that I am tangled in, I have to be careful not to use that as an excuse. As rare as friends like these are, friendships are like anything else that grows, they need cultivation, love, and care. While life has a way of getting busy, for everyone, it’s important to take time to appreciate the ones that mean so much to us. Most of us can probably name a few of them.

I’m gonna do my best to let these friends know how much they mean to me. Maybe today is the day that you take the time to remember who it is in your life that you appreciate the most, and let them know. True friendships don’t form in a day, but once they’re formed, they last a lifetime. Who are you thankful for today?

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