It used to be that the ultimate enticement was, “I’ll be your friend.” Granted, a 6-year-old mind has a limited grasp on the “friend” concept. But it was a good thing; I got that much. And when the cool kid offered friendship in exchange for putting him on the same dodgeball team as the other cool kid, well, you have to seriously consider an offer like that.
Today, thanks to social media, there is the “unfriend.” And although it may not exactly be the ultimate thumb in the eye, it probably is the ultimate passive-aggressive thumb in the eye. If I point out an uncomfortable fact in the life of a brother or sister in Christ (usually something that is being proudly proclaimed for all the virtual world to see), and they would rather keep their vice than engage in legitimate dialogue that would bring us both closer to Christ, they “unfriend” me. Ooooooh. Feel the burn.
But there’s good news for all my unfriends out there. One, it hurts just as much as you want it to, so congrats on that. Two, I still love you and pray for you. So you haven’t really lost anything. Except me. And maybe, eventually, your soul.
The reason we have friends is so they can tell us what we want to hear. But the reason we need friends is so they can tell us what we don’t want to hear, what we are desperately trying to avoid hearing. That’s the kind of friend I try to be — the hard-truth-telling kind (Galatians 4:6). It’s always with love; hopefully it comes across that way. But honestly, some people just want their ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3). I’m all for that, but not when it emboldens a person I love in his or her sinful ways.