Saturday, April 16, 2011

Convo with Pastor - 1 Samuel 20:16-17

So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David ...
for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.
1 Samuel 20:16-17
One of the greatest stories in scripture is the friendship between David and Jonathan. Why? Because one of the greatest gifts in life is friendship.
Indeed, Jonathan exhibited the deepest kind of friendship. As Jesus said in John 15:13, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends," and Jonathan exhibited that self-sacrificing willingness regularly when it came to his friendship with David.

Just a half chapter after these vows of friendship, Jonathan stood up to his father (King Saul) in order to defend his friend (David). As you might expect, this caused more than a little family tension! In fact, at one point, "30 Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan" and eventually "33 hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him." Jonathan, in turn, "34 left the table in fierce anger ... crushed by his father's shameful behavior toward David."
Now, we could mistakenly portray this as a choice of friendship over family ... or loyalty to a friend trumping family responsibilities. It's not! Since loyalty to family and loyalty to friends are both positive ideals, the difference in this case was choosing righteousness (David's noble side) over sinfulness (Saul's hard-hearted side).
We're all called to make that decision. Family and friendship are both very high ideals. But one ideal and one relationship supercedes both, and that's our relationship with God and our respect for his commands. Therefore, if anyone -- parent, child, or friend -- is encouraging us to excuse sin, we're called to be a Jonathan and stand up for righteousness.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wants to be
known as Jonathan
(or better yet, I hope you simply call me "friend")
I have often said, "How can you love your neighbor as yourself if you don't love yourself?"  But I am starting to see that in a different light. It isn't about loving yourself, but loving God and is ultimate creation - us.  If we love God, honor God, praise him for our incredible uniqueness, then we will be able to love others more.  

This may mean making the tough decisions like choosing friends over family. But if we constantly and consistently choose to put God first and practice obedience then we will have the strength to make those tough decisions.  

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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