Friendship In A Time Of Technology

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

It’s easy for pastors, church leaders, and even counselors to forego self-care and even easier to neglect family and friends in the name of doing “greater”

Sadly, this happened to me. In the hurry of work, ministry, completing my degree, family crisis with my elderly father, and discipleship ministry at my church, I failed to understand the void my absence had created in my best friend’s life. I justified my actions with thoughts of how she must be busy with her husband, homeschooling her three children, and her own church leadership responsibilities.

The last straw came when I texted my friend, instead of calling to say I would not make her son’s sixteenth birthday party. (I know, I know….already feel badly) So after months of banal neglect on my part, following my fatal text, my friend of more than 10 years confronted me saying how hurt she was that our friendship had waned and that I was simply not available. It wounded her.

It’s easy for us to become self-focused and feel good about accomplishments when we are doing ministry. We believe our priorities are on point because they are kingdom-focused. It’s easy for us to go blindly forward, all the while neglecting the ministry of love, relationship, community, and care that God has placed in front of us! Why can’t we see it, and see it sooner?

The e-book, “In Our Lives First: Meditations for Counselors,” by Diane Langberg, a Christian Psychologist for more than 40 years, reminds counselors that our relationship with our Lord will indeed determine the effectiveness of our ministry. These meditations invite and implore counselors to pull away to a quiet place, as our Lord did, to seek oneness with the Father. Then, He will lead; He will prune; He will refresh and encourage. Then our priorities will be His priorities.

Romans 12:10-12 says “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

To be known and cared in authentic Christian friendship is one of our greatest gifts. It demands intention, community and sacrificial love, but what we receive in return, I’ve learned, far outweighs what we give.

Thank God, my friend forgave me.