Friends

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Words

I’m preaching a revival in my hometown this week; actually, at the church where I grew up. On our way into town Saturday night we stopped by WalMart to pick up a few things, and I saw a girl I recognized standing in the toothpaste aisle. As I walked by, I said, “Hey- how’s it going?” Very friendly, very upbeat. She responded with a sheepish, “Uh, hi?” I kept walking.

My honest assessment was that since she was there with her boyfriend, she didn’t want to seem overly friendly. (I also had some flashback “cool girl/nerdy guy” complex stuff come up, but I’ll save that for another day…) It was only as I was walking out of the store that I realized the reason for her reaction- we’re “Facebook friends”, but we’ve never been “real friends.”

She added me as a Facebook friend sometime last year. We went to the same high school, but she was a year or two behind me. Her brother was in my grade, but I wasn’t friends with him either. I think she and I had some mutual friends through a club we were in or something, but I can’t recall ever having a conversation with her beyond a courtesy, “Hey.”

I think now, more than ever, we have to nurture and pay attention to our real friendships. I think we have to be intentional about spending time with people, eating meals together, going on trips together, doing chores together. The upside of Facebook and Twitter and blogs can also be the downside- it keeps you in the loop about everybody, but it also builds a false sense of intimacy. You can know every detail about me- my job, my family, my hobbies, my schedule, my prayer requests, my plans, my favorite music and movies- but never have a conversation with me. That can’t be healthy.

If spending time reading this blog is contributing to your lack of real, authentic friendships, don’t read it anymore. If your Facebook to face-to-face ratio is way out of whack, shut it down for a while. Behind every profile there’s an actual person, and if you’re really friends with them, I’m sure they’d love to get coffee.

Leave a comment if you wish. And if you’re really offended by this post, you can just “unfriend” me.

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Comments
  1. Judy Hall says:

    I agree with everything you said 100%, except I like cappaccino! LOL

  2. Edwin Christian says:

    Amen!

  3. Edwin Christian says:

    Sometimes your ” Friends” on facebook just don’t want to be your friend. They ignore e-mail and messages like you don’t exist. I never plan to un-friend anyone – I hope to show them the fullness of love God has given my life and show them they can have that love and life also. We Christians need to set the example for others to follow.

  4. Matt Richard says:

    A preaching professor once said to me that “as our communication technology increases, the quality of our communication decreases.” At first I thought he was just being a stick in the mud and didn’t want to keep up with the times. Recently I’ve started wondering if he was on to something.

    On another note – I got my 1,000 calories of Reeses and have already taken care of a little over 200 of them. Thanks!

  5. Jenni says:

    I have de-friended a few people on Facebook mainly due to their un-Christlike postings & photos–things my eyes do not want to read or see! When I go somewhere & come face-to-face with a Facebook friend I’ve not seen for awhile, but have kept up with them on FB, I always say “it’s great to see you IN PERSON rather than on Facebook”, then try to have a real conversation with them! For me, Facebook has initiated several luncheons with former classmates who I was not friends with in school. Thanks, Jared, for being “friends” with me–maybe one day our paths will cross once again!

  6. Charlotte Bailey says:

    Ok… I just thought my toes couldn’t get stepped on by you since “revival” meetings have ended but this blog proves me WRONG! The ultimate friendship for me needs to be starting my day with God, NOT facebook yet I wake up every moring grab some diet Dr. Pepper and hit the computer to check up on friends and whats happening. I’ll take your unspoken challenge and start my days with my God and his ultimate “facebook”. Picking up my Bible will let me check up on His plan for my day and open my eyes for the needs in others lives. God breathed word from beginning to the end! Love ya Jared

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