Connections on and off Facebook | Weekly Worship
I looked the other day and saw that I have 234 Facebook friends.
Confession time: My first reaction? “Yes, I am that popular. I am just so full of wit and wisdom and all that other stuff, people are lining up to hear what I have to say.”
I stayed full of myself like that for at least several minutes, until I made the unfortunate mistake of telling my youngest, who informed me that he has more than 500 Facebook friends – and so does pretty much everyone he knows.
Where did they all come from? Even with an apparently paltry 234, are there really that many people who are interested in my life? I mean, if I had had that many real friends in high school, I would have been voted Homecoming King for sure.
In 2014, we’re more connected than ever before. But are our connections as close? Do we even have the capacity to maintain, let alone nurture, that many relationships?
Or, maybe meaningful conversation is just outdated, old-fashioned – replaced by cute baby antics and movie trailers.
Technology and Social Networking have empowered us to track and be tracked by a huge number of acquaintances.
Who needs relationship anyway, when I can catch all my family and friends up on my life in five minutes from the comfort of my home office? But convenience and ease have prevented us from really connecting at a personal level.
Human nature hasn’t changed all that much since Jesus Christ walked the Earth more than 2,000 years ago.
Relationships take energy, time, and motivation. Jesus knew that, and He knew how important it was to engage with people on a personal level. Take Peter for example, a fisherman.
Jesus didn’t sit in the Jewish synagogue, hoping that Peter would get done fishing early so he could come to the meeting. Jesus walked to where Peter was, got his attention, and started a relationship.
Peter went on to become one of the most influential men to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
And then there’s Zacchaeus, a dishonest tax collector (I’m pretty sure he didn’t have too many friends). Jesus picked him out of the crowd, and invited himself over to stay at his house.
Zacchaeus’ life was changed forever by Christ’s love. How about Saul, who became Paul?
Saul was a murderer in the name of religion, and was so focused on killing Christians that Jesus had to knock him off his horse with a blinding light, speak to him audibly from Heaven, and strike him blind for three days.
Saul listened. Good thing, too, because after accepting Christ’s free gifts of forgiveness, peace and joy, Paul wrote the majority of the Scriptures in the New Testament.
Jesus interrupted people’s lives because, as He Himself said, He came not to be served, but to serve.
That’s God’s free gift to us all: Jesus Christ invests Himself in those who turn to Him. It’s personal. He stands at the door and knocks; and you know, we can do the same thing.
We can stand at the door of our acquaintances, and knock until that door is opened and a relationship starts.
At first, I was jealous that my son has more than twice the Facebook friends I have. But then, I realized there is no way I can keep up with the number I have now!
I would much rather invest in lasting personal relationships that grow deep roots. It takes initiative; it takes courage.
It will take time, and it will take energy. But I will take that first step to reach out and connect, because it’s worth it.