Facebook has a lot to answer for. It has had me considering the way that ‘friendship’ and ‘friends’ is being redefined lately. And sorry, Mark Zuckerberg and associates, Facebook ‘likes‘ and interaction do not constitute friendship.
On Facebook, one constantly sees posts that contain some variation of this: “If you are my friend, prove it by copying and pasting, or sharing, or commenting on this post, otherwise I will know you’re not a true friend.” I hate to say this, but you may as well go ahead and unfriend me now. I’m not going to ‘prove’ friendshp in any such way. Why? because copying an internet post is not being a friend. Neither is commenting, liking, or otherwise interacting with an endless stream of kissy-face selfies or photos of your breakfast.
Do you want to know what a friend really is? The dictionary defines it as ” a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.” What a concept – someone you actually know! A ‘bond of mutual affection.’ Wow, that must mean you have invested some time getting to know the person.
So how does one do that? Well, you could pick up the phone and actually call someone (not a text, and certainly not one of those ‘group’ texts!). Be the friend who just ‘pops over’ for a visit. Instead of runing errands on your lunch hour, meet a friend for lunch and TALK to each other face to face. (By the way, LOSE THE PHONES while doing it!) In other words, spend that most precious of commodities- time- with the people you either consider friends, or want to develop a friendship with. Be the friend who is there to share joy and sorrow, who can be depended on in a crisis, who listens when needed but speaks the truth in love!
Of course, we are flawed humans and incaple of being the perfect friend at all times. But ” but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) God promises that He, and he alone, “will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
So none of us needs to exist without a friend who ‘likes’ us, for God loves you so much that he was willing to give up everything for you. Now that’s a friend!