What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ? This plan is part of a series called Follower, where we have looked at different subjects in Jesus’ life. One of the things you will see is that Jesus was big-time about relationships. Jesus was a great friend. I want you to learn more about the friendship of Jesus and the friendships we have with other people.
Did you know that you and I need friends very deeply? We were wired for friendship. We were wired to be connected to one another. That is why, throughout the Scriptures, Jesus talks about friendships, His love for the disciples, and His love for the crowds and different people. Our wiring for friendship is a God-given thing.
However, the sad truth is that humanity and society are struggling with loneliness more than ever. In Great Britain, they just appointed a minister for loneliness. A government official is to handle the loneliness that’s going on in Britain. An article was written about it, titled “Why Are Millennials So Lonely?” It stated that loneliness is worse for your health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
A survey found that the number of Americans with no close friends has tripled since 1985. And it appears this decline is most prevalent among millennials. Loneliness is a huge problem. Why are so many struggling with it? Well, there are basically two reasons.
One, loneliness is contagious. You get around somebody who is lonely, and it makes you lonely. Misery loves company.
Two, all of our devices that supposedly keep us so connected actually often disconnect us. Tablets, iPads, and smartphones keep us isolated. The funny thing is that when we do feel isolated, what do we do? We go right back to our devices. Isn’t that interesting? It is a vicious circle that goes around and around.
We’re in this vicious trap of doing what makes us lonely over and over. Billy Graham, the famous evangelist, once said, “Loneliness is no respecter of persons. It invades the palace as well as the hut. The kind of society that we live in can contribute to loneliness. Mobility and constant change tend to make people feel rootless and disconnected.”
Through the next days on this plan, I would like us to look at what it means to be a friend and what the friendship of Jesus means. You can be a good friend to others and meet people whose friendships will bless your life. We need God’s help. He can provide great friendships in our lives.