When we hear the word entourage, most of us think of celebrities walking the streets of Beverly Hills, barking orders at their “people”—people paid to hang out with their famous “friends.” The actual definition of entourage is a group of people attending or surrounding an important person. Even if we don’t feel important enough for an actual entourage, most of us want at least a handful of people who like to hang around us—people who laugh at our jokes, go to the movies with us, and simply have our back. In the Old Testament King David, his son Absalom, and David’s grandson Rehoboam were no different. As royals, each had an entourage and through their experiences we see that the choices we make with those around us can change everything.
Session One: All about me.
Bottom Line: When it comes to friends, make it less about me and more about we.
Most of us have thought about how we want great, loyal friends. But most of us have never thought about becoming a better friend. As a young man, David found himself with growing popularity, growing hatred from the king, Saul, and in need of one good friend. Enter Jonathan. As the king’s son, Jonathan had every right to celebrate himself and cling to his power. Willing to give up his popularity, safety and even his right to the throne, Jonathan models what it means to be a good friend by putting others first.
Session Two: Drama.
Bottom Line: When you have conflict, win the friendship not the fight.
Conflict happens in every entourage. No matter how well we treat our friends, no matter how great they are, at some point we all experience it. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, sometimes conflict can be the very thing to make friendships stronger. The relationship between David and his son Absalom came with tons of baggage, manipulation, drama—it’s the stuff reality TV shows are made from. At a key moment in their history, Absalom had to decide what was most important to him. In friendship, we are often faced with the same decision. Will you choose to win the friendship or win the fight?
Session Three: The inner circle.
Bottom Line: Your friends can either make you or break you.
How did you get the friends that you have? Was it a choice or did those friendships just sort of happen? Most of us don’t put a lot of thought into who we choose as friends but maybe we should. That was true for Rehoboam. Even though he was the son of the wisest man ever, Rehoboam looked to his friends for help with making a decision that would change the course of his entire kingdom. Through his story we find that our entourage, the friends closest to us, can help us make wise decisions or foolish ones. They can make us. Or they can break us.