By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David—an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David’s number-one advocate and friend.
1 Samuel 18: 1–2 [The Message]
In our contemporary worship in Barnsley, we have been considering themes from Celtic Christianity. One of the themes we looked at was the idea of a ‘soul friend’. A soul friend is a person who walks the journey with you, and is encouraging but also completely honest with you, even if it is hard to hear.
You can tell your soul friend anything and everything. If they offer criticism it is constructive rather than destructive, made to build you up and help you improve, rather than tear you down. You can trust your soul friend completely.
It is important that people have a soul friend, someone they can trust, who encourages them and is honest with them. As Christians, we also have a soul friend in Jesus. Jesus walks life’s journey with us, encourages us, helps us to look at ourselves in a different way. We can also trust Jesus completely.
One hymn that reminds me of the idea of a soul friend is ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’ (Singing the Faith 611) by Richard Gillard, with lines such as “we are here to help each other” and “let me hold the Christ-light for you”, encouraging us to share joys and sorrows, and to weep and laugh together.
Jesus our soul friend,
Thank you for walking life’s path with us,
For being there in the good and the bad,
For being honest with us, even when we don’t want to hear it,
Encouraging us to be our best selves,
Always ready to be listen.
Give us the strength and compassion
To be a soul friend to others.