Friends You Can Do Without

“Whatever you need, I’ve got your back!” Sounds like the words of a true friend, someone who will do anything for you. If you are discouraged, this friend will find the bright side. If there is something you want, this friend will help you get it. If there is a dispute with someone, this friend will always be on your side. This friend always has something good to say about you and never gives you a hard time. This friend is someone you can trust.

Maybe not.

“Friends” who will always do what you need may not really be your friend. Instead, whatever good they do for you comes with a hidden price. The apparent selflessness may be a cover for a clever selfishness. The good that is done for you is really an investment that is made for the benefit of your friend’s own self-interest.

Jonadab was this sort of a friend: always there to give advice, solve a problem, to do whatever it takes. Dale Ralph Davis describes Jonadab this way:

“Thus Jonadab is ‘wise’; he knows all the angles, knows how to work the angles, he knows how to make anything succeed – even the rape of a cousin. Jonadab is the consummate politician: he gets things done.”

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