Summary: Facebook friends really aren’t friends, they’re casual acquaintances on the internet. But real friendship is a powerful thing that Jesus not only gave us, but taught us to use for His kingdom. What does Friendship mean to Jesus and to us?
OPEN: I read about a woman who telephoned a friend and asked how she was feeling,
"Terrible," came the reply over the wire, "my head’s splitting and my back and legs are killing me. The house is a mess, and the kids are simply driving me crazy."
Very sympathetically the caller said, "Listen, go and lie down, I’ll come over right away and cook lunch for you, clean up the house, and take care of the children while you get some rest. By the way, how is your husband Sam?"
"Sam?" the complaining housewife grasped. "My husband’s name isn’t Sam."
"Oh dear," exclaimed the first woman, "I must have dialed the wrong number."
There was a long pause. "Does that mean you’re not coming over?"
That housewife had hoped she’d found a friend.
Someone who would be there in her need.
Friendship is a powerful thing.
Growing up, I remember how important it was for me to have “friends”. I didn’t have many friends, but the ones I had I cherished deeply.
According to one study I read recently:
People 25 or younger listed friends as their most critical social network; church ranked 5th. By contrast, adults over 25 ranked church as their key social group, followed by their work relationships.
Friendship is a powerful thing.
And the Bible agrees:
· “A friend loves at all times...” Proverbs 17:17
· “… There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
· “Wounds from a friend can be trusted...” Proverbs 27:6
· “Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father...” Proverbs 27:10
Friendship is powerful thing.
That’s why it is no surprise that one of the most popular features on Facebook is “friendship”
Just for the sake of those - who don’t what Facebook is - it’s THE most popular social get together place on the internet. There are 400 million users (if they had their own country it would the 3rd largest nation in world).
Facebook is a place where people can share their lives.
They can talk with others, post pictures and articles they’d like people to see…
And most of this sharing is done between “friends”
Friends (on Facebook) are people you’ve given the privilege of being able to visit your Facebook page. To “see” your pictures. And to share your thoughts.
If I write something on MY Facebook page… my friends will be read it on THEIRS.
If you’re not my friend (on Facebook) you might not be able to share in those things.
So when someone invites you to be their “friend” on Facebook, they are inviting you to share in their life on the internet. That makes “friendship” on the this site something of an honor.
The average Facebook user has about 150 friends. But there are many on the internet that can have hundreds – even 1000s – of friends. Some have as many as 30,000 friends who get access to their page.
Now I’ve got about 350 “friends” on Facebook.
But there is an odd thing about THESE friends.
They’re not all what I’d call “friends”.
Many of these are people I respect, people I like or would like to get to know. Or they are people who like what I’ve said… or what I’ve stood for. But very few of them are what I’d call friends.