The Internet Has Changed Us
In some ways life is better, but in many other ways we are reduced to binary connections with more folks than we can shake a stick at!
As I quest to find True Friendship around me, I realize that I have found some really good connections through the Internet that someday, with some hard work, true friendship and strong alliances may be formed.
For the most part, however, I turn back to those that I have personally met and come to know as only face to face connections can develop.
I grow weary with all the pithy statements and postings of friendship.
Instead of quaint sayings, or images flashing by on social media, I would rather know that my friends are there for me as I need them! And to know that I will be for them as they need me.
The one personal thing I take note of: If brothers do not confront brothers publicly (Matthew 5:23-24), then it is even more important that a friend not confront a friend in public. I believe it calls into question true motive. Notice that Jesus says to “go to your brother” (this does not mean public discourse) and be reconciled.
A gift to God can not be offered cleanly if there are negative feelings between your brother and you.
Yet, Jesus carries this even further. In Matthew 7:3-5, he declares that you cannot handle a speck of issue in someone else’s eye, unless first you examine the logjam that exists in your own eye! Handle yourself first before you confront your brother!
Wouldn’t Friendship be better if first we took care of ourselves before we try to “correct” someone else?
I believe True Friendship approaches another level with even a stronger thought.
It’s generally all about disadvantage. Friendship is not always convenient. It is found at some of the roughest times of life. Barriers must be removed. Sacrifices must be made. This is what True Friendship seems to be all about.
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:5-13 ESV)
True Friendship does not mean you change who you are just to please a friend. Rather, you are who you are to your friends as much as you want them to be to you.
Let me share one more scripture and take it out of context for your consideration:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14 ESV)
Jesus is talking about himself laying down his life for his friends, and you are his friend if you follow his commandments.
Still, the concept is true in other viewpoints. There is nothing I would not do for my brothers when they truly need me. The same is true for my friends. I have gone out of my way in time and money to help others. Others have done it for me. There is not cost accounting measure to try and make the books right between us.
You just don’t try to make the effort repay itself.
You just do what’s needed.
Because that’s what friends do.