Links Daily Devotional

Deep Friendships

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. (Proverbs 17:17, The Message)

We all have favorite golf partners—those for a casual weekend round and those for hearty competition. Some friends we know so well that we can pull clubs for them or fix their swing in an instant.

Though I love team play and competition with my long-time buddies, increasingly one of these favorite golf partners for me is my wife. Sue picked up golf almost 12 years ago and she loves the game. Playing golf together is truly a blessing—so much so that for three years in a row we’ve actually won our couple’s club championship! But more important than winning is that we enjoy playing the game of golf with each other.

Sue and I have met so many nice couples that golf that it has opened up a new group of friends. Because of these new relationships, we started a mixed Links Fellowship at our club. Over the past four years, we have been meeting every other week for dinner and fellowship afterwards. Strong relationships have been developed—with each other and with Jesus. We get to witness men and women growing in their walk with Jesus because of meeting together. Now that’s a blessing!

I was in a Links Fellowship where our facilitator, Dave Gilbert, had written a book called Too Hurried to Love. In one of his chapters, he explained how we all have F1, F2 and F3 friendships. An F3 friendship is no more than a casual relationship. We call such a golf friend not by his name (because we can’t remember it); instead we call him “Buddy.” The F2 friendship could be a member of our regular Saturday golf group. Here you know about each other’s family, what they do for a living and where they live; you might even go out for an occasional dinner. Then there is the F1 relationship. Now we get serious! We know each other on a more intimate and personal level. You give these friends the right to speak honesty into your life and you don’t feel judged or offended. They want the best for you; you can call them or they can call you anytime of the day. You are free to “go deep!”

Today’s proverb hits home when I reflect on what I see in the Links Fellowships that I am involved with weekly. Friendships are developed at a deeper level than just golf, which is one thing I love about our Links Players tagline: “Bringing golfers together beyond the game.” In fact, it is my prayer that all our Links Fellowships (and similar Bible studies) gain this kind of ground, where participants are there to help each other “weather the storms” and celebrate the good weather of life, too.

In Scripture, I love reading of the friendship between David and Jonathan. They knew each other so well and were prepared to die for each other (yes, I could see them clubbing each other in a golf round!). I hope you will seek to have friendships like David and Jonathan’s. It’s truly a blessing!

Dereck Wong

August 14, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.