Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Second Self (Relationship #2)

Philosopher Cicero is quoted as saying "A true friend is, so to speak, a second self."

You and I need a Nathan to confront sin in our life. We also need someone in our "corner" - someone who cares about helping us become better people. We need, as Cicero said, a second self. A second self is someone who sees me just the way I am. For King David, his second self was Jonathan.

Jonathan had lived with David through thick and thin, through good times and bad. Jonathan had seen David through depression (consider the laments through Psalms), helping him run for his life, and defending him before Saul. Without Jonathan sacrificing his own life, David would have never become king. He was a true friend.

True friends know your "ins" and "outs." They know your strengths and weaknesses. A true friend knows what makes you tick and what causes chaos in your life. And a true friend doesn't cringe when you do some of the things you do.

Sweet maintains that the reasons we don't have close relationships or Jonathans in our lives is one or more of the following: 1) our ego. In other words, we live in such a competitive society that we always have to be on top, or know the most, or have the most toys. And when our friends begin to do a little better, we get offended (ego) and we choose friendship elsewhere; 2) a lack of intimacy. For most of us (especially men), our relationships are superficial. We talk about weather, politics, or our favorite sports teams. Anything "deeper" is taboo. We've been burned in the past and remembering the pain causes us to live a "safe" life with no chance of being burned again; 3) sacrifice. True friendship (intimacy) takes time and effort. In our society where time = money, true friendship requires sacrifice.

So how about it? Got a Jonathan in your life? Got someone who will be your checks and balances, your second self? If so, consider your blessing. Jonathans are few and far between. If not, are you looking for a Jonathan? Will you pray God will provide that second self?


Anonymous said...

I think I need to buy a book. This is good stuff but a little scarey, maybe. I think most men will have 1 or two "true" friends in a life time, its the way were built. True friends do occassionally offend because they touch some privae spots. I wasn't raised where men were necessarily intimate. I have a cousin who is a Jonathan, more than a just a friend were very close. I have another who continues to try and teach me these things and he amazes. You are amazing Parson!

So says Mike

Mike said...

Hang on to your money. After a few more posts (it gets a little scarier), if you're still interested, I'll send you one. Cicero also is quoted as saying, "If when I die I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of true friends I've had, I would be the wealthiest person on the planet." In my experience they're definitely few and far between. Love ya Bro! - whether that makes you uncomfortable or not...