Social media is very popular in our culture and across the globe. Social media can be used for amazing things, but if we are not careful social media can be anything but social. We can lose heart of the true meaning of friendship. We can make the mistake of using social media as a safety blanket to hide under. A blanket where we display how many friends we have, our best looking selfies, our trip to the gym, or the number people who liked a photo of our dinner. Our friends become digital and our ego becomes bigger. We can be empowered to say whatever we want online and hurt someone with very little repercussions...Typically things people would not say in person.
In this kind of culture it’s easy to lose heart on the true meaning of friendship. Like love, friendship is not selfish or self-seeking. We are talking about real friends in real life situations. We don’t value that as much anymore. This makes it easy for us to slip away into seclusion. This is not normal; this is not what we were created for. We are made in the image of our heavenly Father. God was in perfect fellowship with the Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God created Adam and gave him all of creation to name, yet that was not enough. He needed companionship, so God made Eve. God says in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good that man should be alone.”
When friends seek God’s glory they can look at each other despite their sins and flaws and can see Christ working in their lives.
There is more to friendship than the 140-character limit on twitter or the snarky memes we generate. Charles Spurgeon has this to say about friendship, “Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.” Christian friendship is beautiful and vital. It’s more than friendship. The bond goes deeper. It is a brotherhood, a sisterhood, a family, and a body...a body of Christ that works together glorifying Christ. Scripture speaks highly on friendship and the need for each other.
“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
“This is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith, both yours and mine.” – Romans 1:12
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” – Proverbs 27:9
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24
It’s true, friendship does stem from finding common ground. C.S. Lewis says, “Friendship...is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What? You too? I thought that no one but myself.’ ” Friendship flourishes when friends discover they have something in common. Though at times it may seem like we might not have much in common...we do. We have a deep passion for Christ and His glory. It is Christ that draws us together into a deeper level of friendship where a friend becomes a brother or sister. We become a unified family that seeks the same goal, a goal that brings honor and glory to our heavenly Father.
When friends seek God’s glory they can look at each other despite their sins and flaws and can see Christ working in their lives. Because a Christ-centered friendship always loves, forgives, corrects, rebukes, encourages, prays for, and hopes for each other to be more like Christ. A true friend never allows us to wallow in our sin. A true friend wants to see us be redeemed and sanctified. Friendship is like love, it is tough and it is war. It is iron sharpening iron. It is holding each other accountable. It is battling sin together and in the end forming a tighter bond. Do you have such friends in your life? If not I would encourage you to get connected into a community group at church and create real friends. We can’t live this life alone, we are more than friends...we are family. It’s about going on this journey together in life and spurring each other on to be more like Christ and to give him more glory. That is infinitely more exciting than being secluded.