I recently read a blog post giving advice on navigating through the years of middle school friendships. The blogger described friendship during these years as “fluid.” As I read through the article, I couldn’t help but think that, sadly, this is how many in today’s society view friendship. With the introduction of social media, the definition of the word “friend” instantaneously changed with the click of a mouse. Although our “friends” list on Facebook may hold hundreds of names, in reality we often feel very alone. While technology is a wonderful thing and social media has certainly aided in many connections and re-connections that otherwise may not have happened, it in no way can serve as a substitute for actual relationship. God made us to be in communion with one another and He emphasizes this throughout scripture.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
In His infinite wisdom, even looking ahead to generations yet to come, He knew how important our friendships would be, especially to us as women. But He also knew how busy we would become. Let’s be honest ladies, we’re living in an age of “to do” lists and we’re constantly being challenged by those around us to be everything to everybody. We spend our days running from one thing to the next but never really enjoying anything because we’re so worried about fitting it all in. We fall into bed each night hoping to catch a few hours’ sleep, but before we drift off, we’ve already made our mental list of tomorrow’s demands. We’ve been pushed to the point where letting something go isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Many times as adults, that something is our friends. Of course, this is not intentional nor does it happen overnight, but life happens … we start a career, get married, have a couple of kids, and suddenly our schedules begin to dictate our days and who we spend them with. Phone calls to catch up with friends have been replaced by a quick scroll through social media and the click of a “like” button, which we have somehow convinced ourselves shows our friends that we are interested and involved in what’s actually going on in their worlds. And if we read of a tragedy, we may squeeze in a few seconds to type a quick “I’m praying for you!”
I think all of us can agree this type of friendship is not what the Lord had in mind in the book of John when he said, “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13 (NIV).
So what can we do to change this trend? How can we turn the tide of on-line friendships back to in-person interaction? WE MUST BE INTENTIONAL! We’ve all heard the saying “To have a friend, you must be a friend,” and it’s so true! Be the kind of friend to those in your circle that you wish you had in your life. When we reach out to others in their time of need, they remember it … it changes them and they start to become aware of the needs of those around them. In today’s world, we must be the change we want to see!
I challenge each of you reading this to spend some time this week reaching out to a friend, perhaps someone you haven’t spoken with in quite a while. And don’t stop there — carve out time in your schedule each week to show someone you care. Make friendship a priority in your life once again instead of an option! Let’s be the generation who models God’s definition of friendship so well that it becomes the standard for everyone around us, everyone around them, and so on.
You may only be one person, but YOU, sweet sister, are a friend of God and He has called you to be an extension of that to the world around you. Go share His lavish love with someone today … be a friend!
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
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Amber Edwards began Blessing Bag Ministry, affording her numerous opportunities to share her love for the Lord with many lost and hurting. A native of Birmingham and Huffman High School, Amber is happily married with two teens and working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal. She enjoys leading women’s small groups and serving as Captain of the Events Team at her church. Her true passion is for others. Read Ambers BoP bio here.