“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is a famous song written by Randy Newman. It was such a well-loved song it is still known and sung by many today. The song is written about a core human issue – friendship. Friendship is at the center of human nature because humans were made for relationship (Gen. 1:27; 2:17). Since humans are wired for relationship, the question of what makes a good friend is a common one. The best example of friendship, outside of Jesus Christ, is the story of Jonathan’s friendship with David. Jonathan shows five characteristics of a good friend.
First, a true friend loves, as Jonathan loves David (1 Sam. 18:1-5). Love is at the core of every friendship, and Jonathan’s friendship with David was no different. Jonathan does not just love David; rather, he loves him as his own soul (1 Sam. 18:1, 3). Jonathan loves David so much that he is willing to give David his royal robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt. Jonathan gives David everything. Jonathan’s love for David causes him to give his all to David. Jonathan, as a true friend, loves David.
Secondly, a true friend advocates, which Jonathan does for David multiple times (1 Sam. 19:1-8; 20:24-34). Jonathan’s first defense for David comes when Saul tells all his men and his son to kill David (1 Sam. 19:1). Here is where Jonathan steps in between David and Saul to advocate for David’s innocence (1 Sam. 19:4-6). But Jonathan later advocates for David in an even greater way by putting himself in harm’s way (1 Sam. 20:24-32). Instead of appeasing his father, the king, Jonathan stays the course for his friend even to the point of having his own father hurl a spear at him (1 Samuel 20:33). Jonathan, as a true friend, advocates for David.
Thirdly, a true friend warns, and Jonathan warns David (1 Sam. 20:1-23, 35-42). Prior to putting his own neck on the line, Jonathan pleads with David to return to the king’s table not knowing Saul’s plan to kill David (1 Sam. 20:2). However, David knows better and asks Jonathan to inquire of the king and warn David if murder is Saul’s intent (1 Sam. 20:5-9). Jonathan carries out David’s wishes, placing himself in the hot seat, and then returns to warn David of the bad news (1 Sam. 20:35-40). Jonathan and David bid each other farewell after Jonathan warns David (1 Sam. 20:41-42). Jonathan, as a true friend, warns David.
Fourthly, a true friend encourages, as Jonathan encourages David (1 Sam. 23:15-19). When all hope seems lost and David feels like giving up, Jonathan shows up to encourage. Jonathan knows Saul is seeking David’s life and still goes to David to “strengthen his hand in God” (1 Sam. 23:16). Jonathan encourages David by reminding him of God’s plan and purpose for David’s life (1 Sam. 23:17). Regardless of the fact that the throne to Israel would have been Jonathan’s without David in the picture, Jonathan encourages David with the truth of God’s plan. Jonathan, as a true friend, encourages David.
Finally, a true friend is committed, as Jonathan is committed to David (1 Sam. 18:3; 23:18). From the beginning to the end of Jonathan and David’s friendship, there is a commitment, a covenant. At the very start of the relationship Jonathan “made a covenant with David” (1 Sam. 18:3). This is a commitment Jonathan is swearing to David and God. But the same covenantal friendship is seen again the last time David and Jonathan interact. Jonathan and David “made a covenant before the LORD” (1 Sam. 23:18). Jonathan, as a true friend, is committed to David.
 “Toy Story | Randy Newman”, accessed May 27, 2014, http://randynewman.com/2010/03/toy-story/.
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