Today’s relational climate has descended into the abyss of smartphones and social media. We clamor for any hearts, likes, or retweets the proverbial masses will grace us on our various platforms. With each post that is rewarded by another collective, “adda boy, you kept us entertained for 3.7 seconds” we fall farther into the rabbit hole.
This addiction we keep feeding makes us the most connected generation in history. Yet we feel completely alone. Isolated behind our smart phones, true connections are lost in a universe, which promises everything and delivers nothings. We have decided to live vicariously through the digital joys and struggles of others rather than choosing real genuine relationships.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love social media. You have cat videos, funny memes, and the ability to connect with people you might not otherwise, but its’ benefit only come as a relational supplement not the primary method. There are actually four types of core friendships you need to sustain at all times in order to remain healthy.
At all times in your life, you need a friend who helps walk you through issues you don’t fully comprehend. Questions like
How do I break up with him or her?
What do I do about my rebellious teenage son?
Our marriage is struggling, how do we work through this?
My mom has cancer, where’s God?
While gleaming insights from books and videos and teachers online is great, real wisdom comes from someone who knows your name and your story. They walk with you through the process of dealing with your current dilemmas. They’ve “been there done that” and made it out okay on the other side.
We all desire a Proverbs 18:24 friend, someone who sticks with you through it all. They do life with you. Help you grow your faith, and you push them to develop theirs.
It’s brothers (or sisters) in Christ who long for your best. They are willing to hold you accountable, push you to change, and comfort you on your darkest days. We need friends who realize all of our strengths and faults and love us anyway.
If you imagine relationships represented by a cup with liquid in it. Every time a mentor talks with you they pour water into your cup. Then as peers you fill each other’s glasses up, but eventually you must pass along what inside your cup to someone else.
This is the moment where you transition from being mentored to mentoring. We do this by pouring our life out into others, sharing the knowledge and wisdom God blessed us with to make the lives of those around us better. Who are you pouring into is my question?
To reach a lost and dying world, we are called to sit with the woman at the well, love her, and be friends with her. Opinions rarely change others. People change people.
That’s why it is of utmost priority we cultivate, nurture, and develop relationships with those who are far away from God. It’s messy and difficult, but eternity hangs in the balance. Jesus brought love to those who felt unlovable, and we are called to do the same.
Deep, Biblical friendships change the world and you. Start fighting for the relationships that matter most, and see God develop you into the person He created you to be. Friends and friendships are central to God’s plan for your life.
What relationships do you need to work on the most?
Have you found one of these four types of relationships difficult to find?