When we were kids we had plenty of opportunities to gain new friends. Our parent’s friend’s children would come over and we be forced against our will to share our toys with them. Somehow that tug a war over Bret the Hit Man Hart action figure turned into a bond. We had neighbors we would play freeze tag with and a cool unspoken friendship was formed when they unfroze you.
However, life moves fast, and no one really teaches you how to make friends beyond college while you are in college. Some may argue that the hardest transition in life, from college to post-college life aka the real world, is making real friends. Making friends in your late 20’s is a challenge but I think we have embarked upon greater issues in this area and that is simply not having a grasp of true friendships.
I know what most of you are thinking, I have friends. Yeah, okay if we define friends the way Facebook does then sure. But let me try to define it in a way that is less vague; a friend is a person In your life solely based on mutual unconditional interest in doing life with one another, wants nothing from you only concern is to see you become all God wants you to be as a person only. Do you still have friends?
It kind of feels like everyone you meet is only interested in what you do, to see if it can get them somewhere or something. This generation is so individualist driven, that anyone who is doing anything that gets any attention is either your competition or your plug. The fact of the matter is to often, too many of us have allowed ambition to alienate ourselves from beyond surface associations. We even tweet things suggesting if you cannot cause me to elevate then you cannot be in my circle. Such a square move.
We have traded in friendship for business associates and we want to use people and call it networking. We have been reading our own Instagram bio’s again, somehow were believing we are of more importance and in need of no “friendship” that we cannot get anything out of. Often times they will not even take a photo with anyone that does not make them seem important for having a photo with. Our lack of sincere friendship is problematic and will cause many to end up at apple bee’s eventually all alone. Who wants to go to apple bees alone as Vince Vaughn would attest to.
One of the problems is we will have no one to hold us accountable in life. A mark of a friendship is being able to rebuke one another. Proverbs 27:6 says wounds of a friend can be trusted. However nowadays we have somehow made being perfect the requirement for anyone to point out our imperfection. We read a few books on money and somehow treat people as if we obtained all the wealth already and that they cannot tell us anything. We lose all real communication and are dumbed down to the opinions in books of people that have no real interest in whether or not you achieve anything. No, I am not saying reading books are bad, but they are surely poor substitutes for a friend.
This surface-based what can you do for me friendship situation is also a problem because you become the one being used, while you are using others. For example, they get a K on their Instagram and they are in the news for good stuff they are doing and now, people only want to be around them because they seem to be on the move. Now they are only following people on the move, and being followed for being on the move. So what happens when that movement ends, both sides will have moved on and they’re moved into a corner all alone...at apple bees. How do you know if you have a friend or if you are a friend? Ask yourself when is the last time you just sat at your friend house and watched Friends together? A non-activity, non-photo opportunity, "non" I need this or can you hook me up with this type of talk.
Just simply, do you think Ross and Rachel will end up together talk? Have we become so ill-motived that we cannot trust because we cannot be trusted? Without a true friendship, how do you deal with your sin or fear or depression? We are to be able to confess them to one another, but we have to let someone backstage to see the real us, not the on-stage performance.
The biggest problem with friendships for millennial’s is we refuse to give anyone a backstage pass for fear of not being seen as the star they seen when they were in the crowds.
“No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me, seems you’re the only one who knows what it’s like to be me, someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with, someone I’ll always laugh with even at my worst, I’m best with you, yeah.” Friends are those that will always be there, because you are there for them too, to have friends you must be a friend. Someone in another’s life solely based on unconditional interest in doing life with, wanting nothing, only concern is to see them become all God wants them to be as a person only. Not a plug or anything else. Just a friend. Go out and make friends to do life with.