Today’s guest post comes from my buddy, John Wise. John is a youth leader and speaker who truly seeks the heart of God in all he does.
You can find more of John’s work on his blog http://www.JHWise.com. Enjoy.
I have 436 friends on Facebook. Now, I realize that this number is chump change compared to what some of you have, but let’s be honest; we don’t really have that many friends in real life. I considered taking part in “National Unfriend Day” this year, but alas, I missed it.
It’s crazy to think about how many people I have interacted with in my short lifetime. Of those 436 people who are my friends on Facebook, I’ve had some sort of interaction with most them. Whether it was through church, speaking somewhere, school, or whatever; I have had some sort of interaction with them.
Think of the people that Jesus encountered. The people He had dinner with. The people He fed. The people He taught. He interacted with a ton of people. But, He had twelve guys that He spent most of His time with and then three who were closest to Him.
I think relationships and friendships are important. It’s great to have people to spend time with, to laugh with, and to cry with. But to be honest, if the relationships you have in your life are just there to make you feel less lonely and to give you something to do on a Friday night, they’re pointless and aren’t true friendships. If you, as a friend, are not pushing people to do better, to be better, and to grow closer to God, you’re failing as a friend. If you’re friends are not pushing you to do better, to be better and to grow closer to God, they’re failing you as a friend.
Jesus interacted with a lot of people, but He had those three men who He connected with on a whole different level. Those were the ones Jesus opened up to more. Those three were the ones who Jesus told, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34) and wanted them to pray with Him. One of those three is even referred to as the “One whom Jesus loved” and was told by Jesus on the cross to take care of His mother.
This is what I have learned: I need to surround myself with people who know me, yet love me anyways; who encourage me to be better, to do better and challenge me to be closer to Christ. I need that. You need that. I am so grateful for the people who have come into my life and have done that over the years. But not only do we need that in our lives, but we need to be doing the same in the lives of our friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, etc. If we aren’t, we are failing them.
Take time to evaluate your friendships. What can you do to be a better friend? How can you push your friends to be better and grow closer to God? Who are the friends that are challenging you? If you don’t have any, find two or three who will.
You can read more from John on his blog www. JHWise.com. You can also follow him on Twitter here.