T. Keller quote:
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
Why Can’t We Make Friends?
My wife and I regularly hear people talk about being lonely and isolated. It’s pervasive, in and out of the Church. It’s crazy that there are all these people sitting at home by the phone waiting for someone to call them. WHILE THEY BROWSE FACEBOOK.
You know what it is? No one knows how to make friends any more. We learned this on the playground in kindergarten. Hey… you wanna be my friend? Ok.
Not sure why, but maybe it’s a combination of things.
Maybe it’s stranger danger. (BTW – pedophiles look for the kid that won’t scream, fight back, or stand their ground. They for the kid that is disengaged, unable to interact socially, and won’t talk to adults. “Don’t talk to strangers” turns out NOT to be good advice. Teach your kids to look adults in the eye and engage with them directly, don’t let them hide behind your ankles. Teach them to make friends. Studies seem to show that that will actually make them safer.)
Maybe it’s the digital age. What if you made a rule that you don’t look at your phone when other people are around? What if you made eye contact with people more than you did with your device?
Maybe it’s cultural. We used to make neighborhoods with straight streets, and houses with front porches that people used most evenings because Air Conditioning and TV was for rich people.
Now the streets are curved so you only see a few houses at a time, you don’t walk much, and you don’t every see your neighbors because you are inside. The front porch moved to the back deck, with a tall fence around it.
Maybe it’s our hearts. Making a friend is costly. It’s awkward and risky. You might get rejected. You might look foolish. You might have your personal space invaded. You might not have as much free time.
Known & Loved…
But remember Tim Keller’s thought: “To be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.”
This is how Jesus told us to live as His disciples. He said, “they will know you by your love.” What will they know about us? They will know that we have been with Jesus.
Making friends, as it turns out, is not an optional luxury. It’s right down at the core of why we are still breathing.
Does anyone know you? When was the last time you made a new friend? Maybe it’s time for you to cross the play ground and introduce yourself? Pick up the phone. Reach out to someone and go meet them for coffee. Invite them over for dinner. Say hello, ask questions. Get to know people.
This is what truly spiritual people do.