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Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

I had a strange experience this week.  It wasn’t the first time it happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  I was surprised by it, nonetheless.  I was … unfriended.

The word “friend” used to be a noun.  Now, with the rise of social networking web sites, it is a verb.  To friend someone, you simply make an invitation to them via one of these sites, and all they have to do is admit to knowing you.

Voilà!  You are friends.

Once you become “friends” with someone, you can “unfriend” them with the click of a button.  If you dislike their politics, their religion, or the photo of their dog, just click and – poof!

Voilà!  You are unfriends.

This cycle of friending, un-friending, re-friending, and re-un-friending has happened to me several times in cyberspace.  It’s a weird daisy-plucking game of, “You’re my friend.  Now you’re not.  You’re my friend.  Now you’re not…”

Call me old-fashioned (my kids do!), but I feel a little uncomfortable with this arrangement.  It used to be that if you wanted a friend, you had to take a risk.  You had to extend yourself.  You had to share secrets, build trust, go through some trials together and simmer that relationship over low heat until at last you could say of someone, “He is my friend.”

Now, I believe a lot of good can come of social networking. (Some friendships are even better left-over and re-heated in the microwave.)  I’m just wondering, out loud, if we have drifted from the kind of friendship that Jesus was talking about when He said, “I have called you friends.”

I know that human friendships often don’t last forever.  People change.  People move.  People are broken and hurt one another, sometimes unintentionally.  People are imperfect, so friendships with people are also imperfect.

Luckily, I have a friend who will never unfriend me.

He is intimately acquainted with every detail of my life.  He knows all my hurts.  He celebrates all my joys.  He is intensely loyal, even when I take things out on Him.  He has millions of friends, but He’s the kind of friend who makes you feel like you’re the only one.

If you want friends, make the effort to be a friend.

If you want an unfailing friendship, pursue the only perfect Friend.

If you accept His friend request, you will never be unfriended again.

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