Psh, I don’t need people! We like to tell ourselves that sometimes. People leave us hurt, rejected and many times we feel like we’d be just fine without them. If like me, you’ve thought that before, you’re wrong. We need people.
Five Months ago everything in my life changed. I moved 1200 miles away from the place I had lived most of my life. As a single guy, this meant leaving behind not only everything familiar, but everyone I’ve ever known as well. Moving to a new state, by yourself means starting completely from scratch when it comes to friendship. Yes, I can stay in touch with those people I’ve known and loved for years, but they can’t satisfy that need within me for genuine relationship. I can’t go get coffee with them at a moments notice. For that, I must find new relationships.
There is a need in all of us for relationship. In some seasons we are very aware of it, while in other seasons we might get by with minimal contact, but it is certainly only a season. Eventually, we need genuine friendship.
We are busier and more connected than ever. The number one reason for not making time for relationships is that we are too busy. Between school, our jobs, our family and keeping up with social media, television, movies and books who has any leftover time to invest in new relationships or even keep old friendships alive? We are constantly in contact with people over social media and that is more than enough to fill my emotional need for human companionship. Except that it’s not.
More often than not, these online relationships leave us feeling hollow and a bit lonely at the end of the day. The tendency is to invest more time on social media to try and find the soul fulfillment we so desperately long for while neglecting the real face to face relationships that actually bring it. The result leaves us feeling more isolated than ever before.
The Bible says this about isolation.
Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
The more we withdraw from face to face relationship with people, the easier it is to lose perspective in life. When we are isolated, we make decisions that we otherwise would never make. Isolation leaves us longing for something to fulfill the need that is lacking. That need causes us to pursue unhealthy desires that deep down we know will leave us empty.
True friendships, however, satisfy something deep inside of us. Maybe it’s the laughter. Maybe it’s the part of us that comes alive as the discussion goes beneath the surface. Deep friendships do something deep within us. It reinvigorates us and brings us energy. We can never replicate that kind of soul fulfillment with superficial or online relationships.
How would your life change if you made an intentional effort to build room in your life for deeper relationships? It doesn’t have to be an impossible time commitment. It can be as simple as grabbing coffee once a week or getting breakfast before work.
We are all built differently and have different needs, but everyone has this internal need that can only be satisfied with friendship. My challenge for you today is to spend less time trying to satisfy that need with entertainment or social media and begin to invest in face to face friends. Remember, don’t rush! It takes time for a friendship to grow deeper, but don’t stop trying to keep your life full of friendship.
You need it and so do I.