Claudine Phillips

How to be an amazing friend

When it comes to friendships, I have to admit, I have truly bombed many relationships at times and I like to think I have equally excelled relationally. At least I hope so.  Today, I am in the cusp of new friendships in my new town and I am cherishing the old friendships that have truly nurtured my soul. If I take a minute and look back and try to remember the first friend I ever had that I was crazy about, I have to say it was my cat Jonathan. I am serious and a little surprised at this revelation because to this day I am not super fond of cats (sorry my cat lovers).

Jonathan was a huge maine coon and I loved this cat like a stuffed animal. I dressed him, bathed him, and snuggled him every day. He was my treasure. My buddy. And I was his. We both grew up knowing this and our unconditional love for each other was one of a kind.

When I was 18 and in college, my mom called to tell me that Jonathan was really sick and I needed to come home. By the time I got home we discovered he had a tumor. He was so sick the decision was made to let him go. We took him to the vet and said our good-byes. It was the hardest thing for me to do at that point in my life. I felt like I lost my best friend.  I have had many pets since then, but no one will ever replace the love Jonathan and I had for one another. I’m serious, he was my buddy.

I named my treasured kitty after the TV star Robert Wagner from the show Hart to Hart. I am dating myself, but that 8 year old at the time had a huge crush on Jonathan (AKA Robert Wagner).  Jonathan has always been a favorite name of mine and one of my favorite relationships in the bible is between Jonathan and David. I have a huge passion for relationships in general so this story peaks my interest.


In looking at their relationship as described in 1 Samuel 18 through 20, Jonathan displayed 4 traits that I admire and try to apply to my relationships to this day.

First, Jonathan was for David the entire relationship. He chose to support versus be jealous {1 Samuel 18:4} for David. Jonathan gave David his armor and accepted that it was God’s will for him to be the next King even though Jonathan was in line to the throne. Jonathan chose to protect David when others were against him {1 Samuel 19:1-3). He bravely challenged his own blood line’s wishes to kill David and made sure his friend was safe from his father’s jealous rage. I loved how Jonathan could be authentic with David. They were able to cry together {1 Samuel 20:41}. Last, they had loyalty in the site of the Lord for one another beyond just their friendship. Their loyalty surpassed their own generation and promised each other for generations to come to be for, support, protect, be authentic, and remain loyal as long as their family lines were living {1 Samuel 42}.

My favorite part of the entire story is that David wept the most {1 Samuel 20:41}.  I have friends in my life that have displayed these unconditional traits to me. When I think of them, I too am brought to tears of such gratitude.


In this day and age, however, we are taught to walk away when it gets hard, when we are offended, or are confused. The bible teaches how to walk through these hard times in relationships, to lean in and not walk away. {Matthew 18:15-17}

Sometimes, however, there are times when it is necessary to walk away from relationships.  It is essential for us to be surrounded by relationships in which we are unconditionally loved. If we find ourselves in a relationship that does not honor this unconditional love, then yes, it is best to walk away.


If we have a disagreement or jealousy comes into play, it is time to do a self check, see emotionally where we are, and lean into the relationship. Ask yourself why you are upset and what can you do do remedy this.

Sometimes its simply going to the Lord and asking him if you don’t have the answer. I have gone to him complaining to him, “Why not me, Lord? Why her?” He always reassures me that He is there and reminds me that she is His child too and there is plenty to go around.


If I find myself offended or confused, judging or picking a “friend” apart, I ask what is being threatened within me. Am I fearful about something? Am I placing my value in her hands?

The key point is what is keeping me from loving my friend? The answer usually is 99.9% me.

Reminding myself of Jonathan and how much he loved David in friendship sharpens my friend tool box. I love being a Jonathan in relationships and I love receiving Jonathan friendships like David did. A popular article I wrote a few months ago was an example of what being great fans for one another looked like. Displaying what it was like to live life already loved and accepted by God and not look for it from others. Then we are able to pour love out abundantly to others to let them know they are loved, too.

Being a Jonathan is essential in being a Change Maker. Your friend may not allow you to dress them up, bathe them, and snuggle them every day {some may beg to differ-I know}, you can love them in the way Jonathan did.

Change Maker friendships are for their friends and believe in them. 


  • support their friends even when they get what they want
  • protect them with their help and love
  • are authentic and real with them, hiding nothing
  • they are loyal beyond just their generation of friendship

Thanks to Jonathan and David’s relationship, I have learned be an awesome friend. And lucky me, in return, I get to have amazing friends because of this!

So all you amazing Change Makers, lean in, self examine, and…

BE the amazing friend you want to HAVE in your life!

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