I’ll Be There For You: 5 Friend Factors

I Love the 90’s: Week 1Friends


The nineties decade was all that and a bag of chips! We had car phones and beepers. The Chicago Bulls won 6 championships with Michael Jordan. Baseball was dominated by the Braves and the Yankees. Dale Earnhardt ruled Nascar. The Dallas Cowboys were at their best!

But the thing I remember most about the 90s is the TV shows! MTV still stood for MUSIC television! But the TV shows that I mostly watched in the 90s were on Thursday nights on NBC. it was called Must See TV, with Seinfeld, the medical drama ER, and FRIENDS!

The Friends sitcom was about 6 good-looking single 20-somethings, who live in Manhattan and hang out at the Central Perk coffee shop. Over the course of the show’s 10-year run, they stayed friends, set a hairstyle trend, and learned the lesson that when you’re alone in the city, your friends are your family. Remember when Rachel and Ross were on a break? Or Joey’s catchphrase, “How you doin’?” Or Phoebe’s song Smelly Cat? Sing along: “What are they feeding you?”

They seemed like the ideal squad. Everyone wanted to have lifelong friends like Friends. We want friends like that because our friendships matter. They affect our contentment, our personal growth, and the trajectory of our future.

Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Choose your friends carefully. They will either help us grow closer to God, and help us live out God’s purpose for our lives, or they will pull us farther from God, and even keep us from God’s best for our lives.

There are 2 kinds of people. There are people who see others and reach out to them. Then, there are people who are just waiting for someone else to make the first move. If you are the kind of person who is just waiting for someone else to reach out to you, you are going to spend a lot of your life frustrated and disappointed. But if you will choose to reach out to others and lift them up, you will find fulfillment and friendship.

Instead of thinking, “I wish I had friends like that!” think, “I want to be a friend like that!” If you want good friends, you’ve got to be a good friend.

A man who has friends must be a friend, but there is a friend who stays nearer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NLV)

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

The best example of friendship in the Bible is between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 18. If you want to know what a strong healthy relationship looks like, these guys are the model to follow.

Jonathan and David couldn’t have been more different. One was rich, the other was poor. David was raised in the fields as a country, shepherd boy. Jonathan was raised in a palace as the son of a king. But they became fast friends in spite of their differences.

Sometimes, we put our filters on and judge people based on outward features such as the way they dress, the car they drive, the neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, or their level of education. People who are different from you can become your best friend when you get past the outward appearance and get to know them at a deeper level.

Five Friendship Factors

  1. Selflessness.

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. (1 Samuel 18:1)

Jesus said, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mark 12:31

Amazingly, when you focus on meeting others’ needs, your needs get met in return.

  1. Intentionality.

From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. (1 Samuel 18:2)

Most people would rather sit at home and watch FRIENDS on TV rather than spend time with real friends.

If you want strong friendships, you must be intentional.

  1. Commitment.

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. (1 Samuel 18:3)

There is a huge difference between a convenient relationship and a covenant relationship. A committed type of covenant relationship says, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m staying with you no matter how hard it gets.” It’s a picture of the way God loves us. He says, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you!”

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Who are you committed to? Many times, we just think of this in our marriages, but this applies to our friendships too.

  1. Authenticity.

We try to hide our weaknesses because we think they will push people away from us, when they really do just the opposite. Our flaws make us relatable.

Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing… (1 Samuel 18:4a)

This is a picture of vulnerability and transparency.

  1. Sacrifice.

Friendship is never free. There is always a price for friendship.

…and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:4b)

Jonathan freely gave away what was rightfully his. He paid the price by using his power and influence to help David. Even when Saul tried to kill David, Jonathan protected him. He guarded David. He was sacrificing his own career and reputation.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

God loves it when we sacrifice for each other because He is a sacrificial God! He gave us the gift of His Son and salvation, forgiveness, purpose, and hope.

You are never more like God than when you give!

Jonathan and David’s mutual commitment to God held their friendship together. When God is at the center of a relationship, it has a great potential to be a strong friendship. Your relationship takes on a greater purpose than it ever could on its own. You need God at the center.

Jesus sacrificed His life so that you could be His friend.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Jesus said that, and then He did it. He laid down His life on the cross and wants to be friends with you!

Cole Phillips

I'm a Connector, linking people with God and with others to experience the kind of life God has planned for them. I am the founding and Lead Pastor of THE CONNECTION CHURCH in Buda, Texas. I previously served in churches around the state as youth pastor and as pastor before moving to Kyle in the Spring of 2004. I love to lead people to connect with God and those around them and thrive on changed lives. I earned a doctorate in missions and evangelism with an emphasis on church growth. My heart beats for helping people connect with God and connect with others in an authentic community of faith. I love listening to and making music. I also enjoy hanging out with my family. Pam and I have been married since 1991 and we have two daughters, Makenzie and Bethanie. We are planting our lives in Hays County and allowing God to build a great church through us.