What’s the difference from friending and befriending? Like many in this generation, I’ve struggled with the way that the facebook age has changed the way our culture views relationships and interacts. With hundreds of facebook friends and instant communication with almost anyone, why are we all so alone?
This year, I set out on a quest to read as much as I can about creating meaningful relationships in a facebook world.
I’ve always tried to build real relationships, in person and online. In the past, I poured myself onto paper and created friendships that have lasted me a lifetime. But the internet changed everything, and I found myself struggling. It was so much easier to hit “like” than to invest in actually understanding and knowing someone. The internet hasn’t all been bad for relationships. I have found some of my closest friends online. But like everyone else, I’ve been burned, disappointed, and betrayed. It’s hard to be vulnerable and it’s easier to be surface. Not many people seem interested in putting in the effort to go beyond friending to actually befriending. So how do we do it?
In his book Befriend, Scott Sauls takes up the question of authentic relationships and peels back the layers to the core. We can’t really befriend or value anyone else until we learn our own value. The only way to know our worth is when we come to truly know it in the love of God who sent His Son to die for us.
Once we understand our worth, Saul encourages “Start loving as you have been loved.” (Befriend)
In fact, the whole book centers on love. Loving ourselves as Children of God, and loving all mankind as God’s children–our brothers and sisters.
Sauls gives practical, in-depth takes on how to go beyond the surface and go deep not just with those who are like us, but with the difficult or unlovable ones. He talks about not just hearing words but hearing the heart. Not just seeing the mess, but the soul behind it.
“Live a Love Shaped life, into which Love himself invites us. With Love we can heal the world.” (Befriend)
I was touched and encouraged by this book and inspired again that there is no greater tool in the hand of God’s child than the gift of love.