Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear
Releasing on October 4, 2016, Befriend, a new book by Scott Sauls, the author of Jesus Outside the Lines. In it, Sauls teaches the reader about “real” friendships vs. “less real” friendships. And in this day and age of internet friends, I was really taken aback by what my own friendships have become.
What I’ve noticed in my own life is that I’ve all but abandoned real friendships for the easier and less risky less real friendships. I’ve also noticed that I’m more lonely than ever. But now I understand the reason why.
I think that C.S. Lewis says it best about real friendships:
None of us wants to be vulnerable for fear of getting hurt. Hurting…well…hurts. And finding people that we want to be vulnerable with is hard too. So, when we find that person that we feel that we can open up to only to be hurt, it makes us just not want to have those friends.
But, we should be living our lives like Jesus did. He didn’t have comfortable relationships. He spent time with tax collectors, prostitutes, and the people that “good” people didn’t want to socialize with.
Befriend is a great book that helps you see why community and real friendships are so important and how we might find real friendship in some of the most uncomfortable groups. Scott Sauls suggests that it can be read in three ways:
- In a community – perhaps as a study at church or a book club,
- As a daily devotional or study reading one chapter for 21 days, or
- As a regular book.
Each chapter is about 10 pages and discusses a different top starting with the reader and moving on to other people in the world (sometimes difficult groups that we struggle to love because of their beliefs or habits), and finally ending with God.
At the end of each chapter, Sauls summarizes in a sentence or two and a scripture. Finally, he asks questions. Difficult questions about yourself, your habits and abilities, and challenges you to make friends.
Is real friendship risky? It really has to be if we are going to find people to do life with who will love us for real. And, if we are going to be Jesus’ example on this Earth to those who wouldn’t normal walk into our churches on Sunday morning. If we are going to BE the church then we need to have and BE real friends.
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