We live in a culture where friendship can seem like a luxury instead of a necessity. Where popularity is gauged by the number of friends on social media instead of the number of people we could count on in a crisis for help. Where texting has replaced the warmth of laughter and tears shared over the phone or across the table at a coffee shop.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. How is that possible if the only life our friends see is the one we portray on Fakebook? And the only emotions they get from us are emojis and exclamations marks and capital letters over text? How is that possible when we are finding our self-worth and feeding our egos with “likes” and number of followers on social media instead of receiving genuine appreciation from a friend who praises our strengths and gently points out our weaknesses?
Building a friendship takes time, discipline and determination as we match up schedules (our, theirs, and whoever else it affects), interests and activities. It involves lowering our guard and letting people see us for who we really are - the good, the bad, and the ugly. It means carving time out of our over-stuffed schedules for the things that really matter – God, family, and friends.
And let’s be honest. It can also involve taking a risk. Who hasn’t been hurt or betrayed by a friend at some point. Or, if we are really being transparent, been the one to hurt or betray a friend ourselves? Which leaves us with a choice to forgive, forget and move on to new and healthier relationships or stay stuck in the pain of old rejections.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “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.” What choices do you need to make this week to spend time with an old friend or start building relationship with a new friend?
Precious Father – thank you for the gift of friendship and for Jesus modeling it for us when he walked this earth. Please help us to slow down and see the people around us. And please help us to make the care and nurture of friendship a priority. Amen.