But could a deeper reason explain the problem with finding real friends?
Just for a moment picture yourself at age 4 or 5. All you had to do is say, “Hi, I’m Shana. What’s your name?” and — ta-da — a new friend.
Now you’re 30, 40, 50 or more, and friendship is as risky as doing a back flip off the high dive.
The operative word: Risky. And risky stinks.
Friendship Is Risky
If you reach out to a woman who seems friendly, she may reject you. If you open up and share deeply with another, she may draw back. Friendship opens the risk of wounds. It’s safer to keep your distance. A lonely distance.
I experienced loneliness when my family moved 14 years ago. I didn’t know I soul in my new hometown. Neither did my husband. It didn’t bother him. I went nuts and into action. I thought, “I know what to do. Find a friendly church and make friends. How hard could it be?”
For the first month, my friends-through-church plan worked. Lots of people introduced themselves and we discovered things in common. I knew names, faces, their kids’ names and faces, and even learned the best place for ice cream.
Then my plan crashed because I wasn’t the new girl anymore. My “friends” now welcomed other newbies or talked among themselves. I felt discouraged and disillusioned and. . .rejected. Did I do something wrong? Why don’t they like me anymore? Aren’t Christians supposed to care? (No. Wrong question. Yes.)
After crying into my husband’s shoulder more times than I care to admit, I told God these people — His people — need to show hospitality. I opened my bible to the concordance in the back and looked up “hospitality” to fuel my argument.
An “Oh my God” Moment
The verse I found — “Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13) — nailed me. The new girl, I was supposed to show hospitality. Call it an “Oh my God” moment.
The attitude change in me made all the difference. Now I didn’t look to my new friends to meet my needs. I found ways to meet theirs. I risked rejection and opened the gate to wonderful new friendships.
The old saying rings true, “To have a friend, be a friend.”
Join the conversation. Take a sec and answer this question: Do you have too many friends, not enough, or somewhere in between?
Blessings to You and Yours,