Thanks for visiting today. I’ve written on the topic of friendship to accompany my devotion, A Recipe for Relationships. (click on title to read devotion)
A practical step to take in developing a lifelong, intimate friendship is to BE a friend that is GOOD for another. That sounds simplistic but think about it. When I was a child my parents were very selective about who I spent time with. They didn’t want me around kids who would be a bad influence on me. Likewise, I want the same for my own children—good, healthy relationships.
We’re all looking for these kind of friendships, but are we the kind of people that others want to be friends with? Will others be better because they’ve spent time with us? Proverbs 27:17 says that as “Iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens the wits of another.” Are you the kind of person that sharpens your friends?
That’s the kind of friend that Jonathan was. Jonathan made David a better person. He encouraged him and helped him spiritually. He was good for David.
Today, to many people focus on outward appearance or prestige in others. But it’s real character that makes a someone worthy of friendship. The movie, Shrek, celebrates the worth of society’s undervalued people. It revolves around a boorish ogre, Shrek, who finds a friend in a talking donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) and unexpectedly falls in love with a princess (voiced by Cameron Diaz), whom he rescues from a castle. This fairytale spoof emphasizes how humans place too much importance on outward appearances.
After freeing the princess, Shrek and Donkey escort her back to the village in keeping with the prince’s orders. Because the journey is long, they decide to camp out. Around the campfire, Donkey talks to Shrek about what life will be like once they return to Shrek’s home, a humble swamp. Looking up at the sky, Donkey asks, “Hey Shrek, what are we going to do when we get back to our swamp, anyway?”
“Our swamp?” Shrek challenges. “There’s no our. There’s just me and my swamp, and the first thing I’m going to do is build a ten-foot wall around my land.”
Donkey is surprised. He thought they had developed a friendship that would result in sharing their lives and possessions once the quest was over.
“You cut me deep, Shrek!” Donkey confesses. “You cut me real deep just now. You know what I think? This whole wall thing is just a way to keep somebody out.”
The two argue and exchange verbal jabs. At last Donkey asks, “Who are you trying to keep out? Just tell me that, okay?”
“Everyone! Okay?” Shrek exclaims.
“Hey, what’s your problem, Shrek? What you got against the whole world, anyway?”
The huge ogre seems almost childlike as he candidly explains, “I’m not the one with the problem. It’s the whole world that seems to have a problem with me. People take one look at me and go ’Ahhh! Help! Run! It’s a big, stupid, ugly ogre!’ They judge me before they even know me. That’s why I’m better off alone.”
Donkey joins Shrek and says, “You know what? When we first met, I didn’t think you were just a big, stupid, ugly ogre.”
“Yeah, I know,” Shrek acknowledges with gratitude. For the first time he realizes someone has looked beyond his outward appearance and accepted him.
There’s an awful lot of people running around today who’ve isolated themselves from the rest of the world out of fear. Maybe you’re one of them. There’s good news: it can be different. You can have the kind of intimate friendship that David and Jonathan shared. You don’t have to be alone any longer. Instead, choose to be a Jonathan and ask God to give you one as well.