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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

June 30, 2011 - Friends

By Bob Caldwell

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV).

I have just reached a disturbing conclusion about myself: I am a better friend at a distance than I am close. Let me explain.

Like many of you, I am on Facebook. Though I know that some are addicted to it and its games, I enjoy using it to keep up with old friends, especially those who are not near me.

I got a new phone and decided to attach pictures to my contacts. Naturally, I already had pictures of my family on my computer, but to get other people’s pictures I decided to go to Facebook and copy pictures from their pages.

I have 253 Facebook friends. Not all of them really like me, but they somehow know me. Many of you have a lot more. But as I was copying pictures, I realized that I had very few of their numbers programmed in my phone. Of these 253 “friends,” only 22 appear in my cell phone. That means that I am not close enough to 231 of them that we would call each other often enough to store their number.

How many numbers are stored in my phone? 97. Again, not a large number compared to some of you, but this means that there are 75 people whom I talk to enough to store their number, but who are not really friends, otherwise I would probably have them on Facebook.

So who are these 75 people? Mostly business contacts. People with whom I need to interact to make my living.

Therefore, I spend most of my phone-talking time with people who are not friends, but communicate with those whom I consider friends with bits of typed words and links to funny videos.

Though Facebook allows me to keep in contact with people whom I otherwise might lose forever, it fools me into thinking that I really have a lot of good relationships when they are quite shallow. Interacting by the computer screen is fine, speaking to someone is much better, and being with a person is best yet.

The Preacher understood this concept 3,000 years ago when he wrote the words above. To be a friend means to share this life’s burdens together. To keep each other safe and warm. And at times that is going to require face-to-face contact.

So I need to re-examine my friendships to make sure I am more than a photo and words on a computer screen, and that I am someone who can be counted on to be there when it counts.

— Bob Caldwell is an adjunct professor with Central Bible College-St. Louis campus.




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