Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) The your here is plural. One of the devil’s primary strategies is to pick off someone who gets isolated from the rest. Imagine going on a safari...
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man. 2 Samuel 13:3
Jonadab was close enough to Amnon to know when something was wrong with his friend. So he comes to Amnon, and says, “I see you each day and you look miserable. What’s up?”
Amnon says to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister” (13:4). So Jonadab came up with a scheme that would get Amnon some time alone with Tamar. Jonadab said, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand’” (13:5).
In a world where everyone talks about love, there are many who know little of what true love is. For Amnon, love was getting what he wanted. For Jonadab, love was affirming his friend’s desires and supporting whatever he wanted. But affirming what Amnon desired and supporting what he wanted is a long way from seeking his good. Beware of the friend who only ever supports what you want.
Love seeks the good of another person, whatever the cost. Jesus shows us what love is because he came to do us good, and he did it at immeasurable cost. And he says to us: “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).
Are you truly seeking the good of the people around you, rather than simply affirming what they desire?