“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” ~ Henry Ford
Do you have a best friend? It’s that person with whom you connect on a deeper level than most of your other friends. Typically we have a large number of acquaintances and within that a closer circle of those we would consider “friends”. Closer even than that is our “inner circle” of those who are an integral part of our lives and among that group is where we find our “best friends”.
Here’s a question for you: How intentional are you about being and having a best friend? Life is much too complicated to travel alone and is best when our journey is shared with others. Both our greatest victories as well as our most devastating failures gain significance and perspective in the company of close friends. Relationships like this however just don’t happen without working on it.
Deep friendships require a mutual commitment and genuine love for each other. A wonderful example of two best friends in the Bible is the friendship of David and Jonathan.
After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. (1 Samuel 18:1 NLT)
This friendship served both David and Jonathan well through all the triumphs and challenges in their lives. One phrase in this verse seems to stand out: “there was an immediate bond of love between them.” Best friends have a special connection, a bond of genuine love for each other. That bond is usually grounded in the foundation of shared values and life experiences. These friends might move away and you may not see them for a while, but when you reconnect it seems like they were never gone and you just pick up where you left off.
Take time to make a list of the friends you have with whom you share a special “bond of love”. I hope the names on your list bring a smile to your face today. It would mean a lot to them if you would take time to write them a note, call them or meet them for lunch just to tell them how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them.
Christian leaders need to be intentional about developing close friendships. After all, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. Life and leadership are much richer when shared with a best friend. I’ve also found that leadership has “weight” to it. Best friends will help us carry the weight of leadership by providing a shoulder to either lean on or cry on.
Take time today to focus on your inner circle of close friends. The quality of your closest friends will directly affect the quality of your leadership. Remember, the only way to have a best friend is to be a best friend. The right best friends will help you become your best.