Me & My Best Friend JoJo at the AT&T store
We live in a day and age where we often insulate ourselves from the outside world and the people in it. We “pay at the pump” rather than go up to the cashier’s window. I know that’s convenient in our plastic age, but remember when there was more of a personal contact when doing business? We drive up to the MAC machine, we buy online, drop off a night deposit and now in some stores we even check out our own groceries! We even have pretend friends like the electronic voice of Siri in our cell phones, who will talk to you like a real person! A guy recently told me he asked Siri to marry him and she responded “I don’t even know you!” Ha! Ha!
Years ago there was much more personal contact in all of these aspects of living and I think we’ve lost something important.The fact is, we were meant for human engagement with our fellow travelers on this planet. King Solomon said “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) A friend is meant for fellowship, that’s two fellows in one ship! A true friend gives unconditional love and is there for you when you’re going through adversity.
It does take a concerted effort to engage in friendship. Here’s an example. Tonight I was at the AT&T store upgrading to a new phone. Mike the AT&T employee was taking care of me. It actually took a while to transfer the data from my old phone and instead of just standing there like a zombie, I started joking around with him saying things like “No worries, I’m a rich Republican!” (JoJo hates when I use that line! 🙂 ) Mike said, “So you’re a business owner?” Ha! I said. “No way, I just got laid off by BIG business last June!” And the conversation took off from there. He saw my Bible App on my phone and asked if I read the Bible with my phone, to which I said yes, and it opened up an awesome discussion about our faith backgrounds. It didn’t take long for me to learn he was “a brother from another mother!” We had an awesome time of fellowship and the time flew by. All of that through a couple of one liners which led to creating a new friend!
My New AT&T Friend Mike
Actually, I’m going to breakfast tomorrow with an old aquaintance of mine. He was behind me a class or two in high school but he recently read some of my “Blue Eyed Six” blogs and sent me a note of appreciation. We traded a few text messages and it ends up we might be related (distantly) through the Blue Eyed Six. Another friend in waiting!
Friends can also be sounding boards that give feedback and counsel in life. We must be open and humble enough to receive that counsel which can be very helpful, since we all have our own “blind spots”. I like another verse in Proverbs which says, “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17) The chipping away at our imperfections isn’t something we can always do alone. We need a friend to take up the hammer and chisel.
In closing, the Bible also says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) It goes without saying, we need to be friendly to have friends and even when we think we have NO friends, I remind you that Jesus is the best friend you could ever have!
He said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privelege to carry, everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” (From Hymn “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” by Joseph M. Scriven)
Lord, please bless my friends reading this blog. Show Yourself strong on their behalf, reveal Yourself to them in their times of need. May they open their hearts to Your love and forgiveness and forever friendship!