True friends are willing to get “unfriended.” You see, friends don’t let friends violate God’s law without saying something. An old Jewish proverbs says, “A friend is someone who warns you.” We desperately need a revival of those kinds of accountable relationships today, because many of our friends are being lured into dangerous living by the deceitfulness of sin—and while there are plenty of people to cheer them on, few are willing to warn them. For the love of God, and for the right reasons, quit being afraid of being unfriended!
Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 1:5-10
About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him… Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah. Adonijah went to the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers—the other sons of King David—and all the royal officials of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the king’s bodyguard or his brother Solomon.
Nathan, Benaiah and Solomon got unfriended! They were blackballed, excluded from the group, not invited to the party. And that was okay. In fact, they wore their unpopularity like a badge of honor. And it was just that—a badge of honor—because to go along with Adonijah’s plan would have been to bless what God was about to curse.
Adonijah was King David’s son. He was popular, had movie star looks, and the popular support of both high-ranking officials and run of the mill citizens.
Now Adonijah’s father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. (1 Kings 1:6)
He was the obvious choice to replace the aging David. Worst of all, Adonijah believed his own press, and came up with a shameless scheme to promote himself. And he had plenty of cheerleaders to encourage him along the way.
Epic fail! In one of the biggest upsets in the history of elections, the newly self-minted “king” was immediately dethroned when David learned of his son’s rebellion and instead coronated the rightful replacement to the throne, Solomon. And the “unfirended” ones, Nathan, Benaiah and Solomon, were now looking pretty good, while those who had supported Adonijah—some pretty powerful people—were now looking pretty foolish. As a matter of fact, those who cheered him on in his sin now shared in his sin—an enduring lesson we ought to take to heart.
We worry too much about getting friends—and keeping them. Not that friends are unimportant, but in this day of social media where being “friended” is everything, we have begun to worship unthinkingly at the altar of popularity. We stress over what people might think of us, of being labeled as a hater, and Lord forbid, of being “unfriended.”
And all the while, many of our so-called friends are steering their lives right into a ditch, but we don’t say anything to warn them off. A person with whom we are connected posts photos of themselves engaged in questionable behavior, or uses vile language or proudly announces they are now in a lifestyle that has been declared sin in the immutable Word of God, and we say nothing. In fact, some who know better will actually fawn all over them with “I am so proud of you” or “you gotta be true to who you are,” which is, in reality, tacit approval of our friend’s sin.
Friends don’t let friends violate God’s law without saying something. An old Jewish proverb says, “A friend is someone who warns you.” We desperately need a revival of that kind of true friendship today, because many of our friends, cheered on by the crowd, are being lured into dangerous living by the deceitfulness of sin.
Now I am not promoting that you go out of your way to be a buzz-kill, but there is a point when you need to say something. You need to risk being unpopular, of being labeled, or being “unfriended.” I am not suggesting you do that publically. Watch your motives. Go in love—and in private. But for the love of God, be a friend.
True friends are willing to be “unfriended.”