My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. (Ps. 55:20)

ON THE ONE HAND, Lola had a dedicated circle of friends at the office. On the other hand, none of her friends were sure how Lola felt about them. She’d beg for help when she took the lead on a project, but rarely showed up to help when her colleagues led projects. She counted on them to put in a good word with their supervisor on her behalf but was quick to exaggerate their faults to that supervisor. She expected everyone to show up when the department celebrated her birthday but usually stayed at her desk when others celebrated.

Even King David had a “Lola” in his life. In Psalm 55, he writes about a companion who attacked his own friends. David made it clear that that kind of behavior violated his companion’s covenant of friendship with others. On the outside, this companion acted as though nothing was wrong. But on the inside, this companion was making war on his colleagues. He loved himself, but not his friends and neighbors—a clear rejection of the royal law that had first been stated in Leviticus 19:18, and repeated in the Gospels and the book of James.

The measuring stick for friendships and other covenant connections is the royal law: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Violating that law only brings instability to the relationships we should value.

Reinforce an important relationship today by somehow serving your neighbor.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.