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Christian Counseling - Are We Really Friends?

Today, like any other, I logged onto my Facebook account to see what my friends were doing. One was getting ready to go on vacation. Another was having medical tests done. Yet another was saying they had a good sandwich for lunch (I may have to de-friend that one). I could not help but ask myself, "When was the last time you actually spoke to any of these people?" The truth is, I have not spoken to any of the people mentioned above in quite some time (actually years).

Perhaps you do a better job of keeping in touch with your Facebook friends than I do. I doubt it, though. If you are like me, between work, marriage, kids, you rarely have time for much else. Facebook gives us the illusion of close relationships with a great number of people. However, we cannot possibly keep in touch with that many people.

The illusion might not be so bad if it did not impact our other more significant relationships. However, I have found myself growing satisfied with keeping up to date with people in my life through Facebook. My deeper, more intimate friendships have been relegated to a check of Facebook status. This is not healthy for me or for any of us. First of all, we cannot have intimate friendship with 765 people. Our number of Facebook friends does not indicate who our true friends are. Second, we cannot have healthy relationships in 140 characters or less. We need to spend time physically and in conversation to develop intimate friendships.

Among many things, what Facebook allows us to do is to never feel the sadness of friendships changing or ending. There are many people who have been important to us over the years who we have lost touch with for many reasons. As we think of these friends, there is a mixture of joy in the memory and sadness in the loss. However, being realistic, our lives have changed. Many people are important to us in chapters in our lives. Some continue on and are important throughout the entire book of our lives. Just because someone's chapter has closed does not make that friendship any less real or valuable in the scope of our lives. It is OK for us to move on to new friendships. It is also OK for our friends to have moved on as well.

Take stock of your current friends. Who are the people with whom you would like to spend your time? Keep the list small and be deliberate about seeking those people out. I know it is difficult to find the time to invest in deep friendships. If you're stuck, here's a novel idea, take the time you spend on Facebook and spend that time actually talking with someone on your list. Good luck!

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