Have you ever thought what separates a friend from a best friend? What are the characteristics? What makes the difference? God gives us some great insights from His word as far as what defines that difference. When we enter into a relationship with our Lord, that is the most intimate relationship we will ever have. God will love us and care for us like no one else can. It should be our desire and responsibility to reciprocate that same love back towards God. Best-friend-relationships don’t just go one way, we need to be investing in that friendship just as much as we benefit from it. The best place to turn to for advice about building that friendship relationship with God is through His word. Let’s take a look at some biblical examples of essential characteristics required in a best friend relationship.
- Honesty/ Transparency
Every successful relationship requires trust but a best friend relationship requires complete honesty and transparency. We value our best friends because they are real with us. They don’t try to sugarcoat, beat around the bush, or cover up their true feelings from us because they know they don’t have to. They have built up that friendship to the point where even if they say something that may not be what we want to hear, it is appreciated and encouraged from them because of the trust surrounding that relationship. God works in the same way with His children. There are countless examples from God’s word where we see heroes of faith being very blunt, straightforward, and sometimes even bold when speaking to God. The best part is that God encourages that and desires that candor with us. One prime example of this type of honesty is seen in the life of David. While reading the Psalms, have you noticed the amount of endless complaining, worry, concern, and a whole slew of other emotions David expresses towards God? If we take a look at Psalm 22 we can see some of the best examples of this:
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. 2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. 3 Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 4 In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. 5 To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
We see in this Psalm that David cries out before God and asks Him why he’s been forsaken, why he hasn’t been delivered from his misery, and why his prayers go unanswered. There are very few people that you would be able to complain like that to besides your best friend. David knows God encourages that openness through their friendship. From the following verses we see that it isn’t just complaining but also acknowledgement of who God is. We see from verses 3 onwards that David expresses his respect towards God through all this and says in the last few lines, “They trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.” David follows up his previous grief expressed in the first few verses with his thoughts about God’s character and who He truly is.
That back and forth type emotions David expresses through the Psalms may seem erratic and unstable but we have them in the Bible for a reason. Not only is it to share truths about God and reveal His character, but also to give a deeper understanding of the types of interactions people had with Him. David is considered the man after God’s own heart, which is an impressive yet daunting title to hold. The reason he held that title was due to his relationship with God. David considered his friendship with God the most important relationship to invest in. He writes so many Psalms and has countless interactions with God where he expresses his doubts and fears with fearfulness and reverence towards His maker. God honors him for that too! The reason David is so renowned and publicized in the Bible is because God appreciated the relationship He had with David. God longs for that same honesty in us. He wants us to pour out our hearts before Him and express that same level of openness so that He can become more intimate with us and develop the friendship we have into a BEST friend relationship!
Today we looked at the importance of honesty and transparency in our friendship with God, primarily through the life of David. Stay tuned for part two where we talk about the importance of obedience in our friendship with God!