"You Have One Friend Request"

by Sean Ashberry
facebook22.jpgI love Facebook. It is not the future of our society. It is very much the present. It is people sharing the randomness of their lives with others who for strange reasons are not only interested, but reciprocate.
And although I do not spend as much time on the site as others do, I am able to receive and send status updates via my cellphone. I do look forward to Mike’s poetic waxing or Tressa’s Farmville futures or Sandy’s Mafia hits.
And then there’s the Bejewled racket. You girls know who you are!
It is exciting when I open my Facebook page and find a message directed only to me. Someone was thinking about me.
Or like the other day when I looked on my page and there it was in the margin: “1 Friend Request.” Who could it be? Do I know them? Or did they find me through someone else’s page?
One fabulous thing about Facebook is that you can connect with people you have never met through the life of a mutual friend. They have requested to be my friend and a new relationship has formed simply because of a connection we shared.
Some people make it a challenge to see how many “Friends” they can acquire. Even if they never communicate again, their page still shows “1,264 Friends!”
But the thing about a friend request is that you can either accept it or reject it. It’s your choice.
Abraham is referred to as a “friend of God,” several times throughout the Bible. The word used in those instances refers to “loving dearly.” That relationship began because God sent him a friend request and Abraham accepted it.
Then through the life of Abraham, God’s invitation for friendship was carried to a nation of people. Some accepted it and some rejected it.
When Jesus came, he reiterated the request for friendship, when he asked Peter whether or not he “loved” him. The same root word meaning “loving dearly” described God’s relationship with Abraham. Jesus said if Peter loved him, he would feed Jesus’ sheep.
Being a friend to Jesus means more than adding him to your friend counter. It is deeper and broader than randomly sharing the message of Christ. Accepting a friend request from Jesus means connecting people to him through your life — a mutual friendship.
Facebook has found its niche in my life, and because of it many others have found me. May Christ say the same of me.
Christ is not the future of our society. He is very much the present. We may accept it or reject it.

_______

Sean is the Involvement and Outreach Minister with the Somers Avenue congregation in North Little Rock, Ark.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

5 thoughts on “"You Have One Friend Request"

  1. Great article Sean! FB is indeed or can be a wonderful way to spread Christ’s word. What a wonderful way to spread the “Word” since He is the Word and has always been the Word. Jesus always finds away. I love thinking the way you did in the article. I hope you don’t mind if I quote you on FB. Again, thank you soooo much. It is a wonderful article.

  2. My wife and I once used Facebook to keep track of our grandsons in “sand box”. But we found ourselves unable to keep doing it, because of several destructive elements. First, we found that lives are being controlled by it–they get nothing of value done because they spend all their free time on FB. Second, we found ourselves getting stuff from people who we had nothing in common, nephews who are so worldly their lives are a disaster immersed in rock culture and R-rated movies, a cousin who has left the ministry for a gay lifestyle as a restaurant chef, people we have nothing in common with. Third, our son got involved in a “game” on FB and ended up in a cyber romance with a woman from Australia, nearly wrecking his marriage. I could keep adding reasons we freed ourselves from FB. But it eventually destroys lives, with few redemptive benefits. And Twitter–let’s don’t even go there. What’s the matter with people today that they can’t even have decent real relationships? We tell the kids to get off the couch because they’re overweight, and sit on our computers 8-10 hours a day with nothing to show for the wasted time but added inches to our girth. God will hold us accountable for the hours of time He gave us and we frittered away.

  3. Jerrie and Tina, I agree. It is a good article.
    Tom, Facebook and Twitter are not inherently evil. Like anything else, we get out of them what we put in. Both sites allow us great, new opportunities to spread the gospel and meet new Christians. I’m sorry to hear that your family has had bad experiences with Facebook. Thanks for your comments and for reading Forthright.

  4. What a great article, Sean! How much we need to be reminded to connect with God through prayer each day and all day long, without ceasing!

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