When you arrive at my age, the glorious early 40’s, you’d like to think friendships have reached a plateau, absent of the unnecessary hills & valleys of darkness. Especially where Christian relationships are concerned.
Often women like me sit dumbfounded over the idea or mentality that friendship has been reduced to consumer promotion attempting to reach the top of some success ladder. I see people online pushing others away to latch onto others in a quest to gain more & more ground in hopes they’ll be noticed by those on the highest platforms, while throwing the words, pal & friend as easily & with as much desensitization as the word love has become. No meat, no depth. Friendship seems to have taken a turn down a street called, What Do You Have To Offer Me?
I’ve found this age of social media society hasn’t just worsened friendship, it’s pulled most efforts to grow what God has equipped for our Earthly thriving: intimate community & relationships.
When I was growing up and the majority of my adulthood, we lived in a face-to-face world. If we couldn’t be together in person, we dug deep in hours-long phone calls, even hand-written letters if we moved away. I still have boxes of these and even postcards which are some of the joys of my life when I want to take a walk down memory lane.
I lived in a time where people would just show up on your doorstep or you on theirs and you would sit for hours unexpectedly talking, crying, or laughing together. We didn’t hide from each other, our problems, or socializing. We didn’t live in an Instagram filtered world or a place that was dressed up with a nice bio and our very best selves on display. It was a place that I feel we and our kids were a happier, healthier us because we weren’t recluses living lives of online comparisons, jealousy, arguments, and debates. The masses knew very limited information about our personal lives. To this day I still remain friends with those I attended elementary through high school with; even my best friend has been such for 34 years. That is a very rare thing to have these days.
Don’t get me wrong, social media/the internet has been a blessing for my life and the life of my family many times over. I’ve established real friends, learned so many important things, I’ve been published as a writer and collaborated with others all over the globe to tackle social justice issues; I even communicate with my sponsor child in Africa through the internet. I have been exposed to so many things I otherwise would not have been able to- it’s an amazing age to live in, but with every blessing comes the consequences of too much.
As wonderful as it is to have the whole world literally at our fingertips, it’s also allowed us to turn people off & shut them away at the click of a button. Having that type of power & ability has spun a web dehumanizing others & forgetting these are real people that need us. Maybe you are the one on the receiving end- rejection, comparison, & loneliness has set up camp. No matter where you fit in this story, we can all agree, in order to have certain types of friends, we have to be what we want, 1st. And no matter what, our very best friend will always be Jesus.
In this book by Lisa-Jo Baker, Never Unfriended, she digs into the secret to finding and keeping lasting friendships. She says, “In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last? Maybe by first becoming those kinds of lasting friends ourselves.”
Lisa-Jo became the community manager at the website incourage.me in 2010. Since that time she has had the chance to engage hundreds of conversations with women about friendship. She’s learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keep us from connecting.
But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then?
Starting with that guarantee from the most faithful friend who ever lived-Jesus-this book is a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship – What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start? – with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts.
My friends at B&H Publishing Group provided me a copy of the book, Never Unfriended, and I would love for you to have one.
To be registered to win a copy just post in the comments below what you have learned about friendships or what you wish you had in friendships today & you will be entered in a random giveaway drawing.
If you are interested in purchasing this book you can do so at the B&H website http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/never-unfriended
or your favorite book retailer of choice. It’s a wonderful read for you personally and will also make a great gift for someone in your life.
To find out more about the author and how she champions other women in person and through her writing visit http://www.lisajobaker.com/