Monday, May 08, 2006

Lost Art of Friendship

As a society, we have become very individualistic and self-oriented. We no longer care what others think (evidenced by our lack of good manners and sloppy dress), and we feel "good" about ourselves (thanks to all our dreadful self-esteem training in schools). We are also very lonely as a result.

In this society of self, we are able to blog exactly what we feel, think, and believe with relatively little challenge from others. We are able to do and say "what is right in our own eyes" similar to the Israelites in the Old Testament.

Am I against blogging? No, BUT...if that is your only or main source of friends, then I strongly suggest you plant yourself in a community (preferably a church) and grow some real roots. Blogs can be a good source of encouragement or creative ideas (as in Lady Lydia's blog) but you should not let it be your sole source for moral support. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading your post. I wondered if you could let me know what painting you have used. It's beautiful. I love the pre-raphaelite style pictures.
I also agree so strongly with you about needing to be part of a church community. I really don't know where I would be. I have received so much wisdom from my older sisters-in-Christ. Blessings.

Calla Lilly said...

I apologize that I do not know the name of the artist or the painting. I wish I could be of more help to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I have no Christian community of similar belief in the city where I live. Blogging is my social life. I know that must sound pathetically sad. I've tried to change my beliefs to fit in with other Christian groups in my area, but cannot, the way I have been raised goes very deep as do my convictions. I am part of this blogging community, but I'm signing on annonymous becuase what I am sharing is personal. This blogging community fills a big empty space in my life.

Calla Lilly said...

Dear Anonymous,
My heart feels for you because I can relate so much. I would have a more difficult time of it were it not for women like Jennie Chancey and Lydia Sherman who have taken the time to share with us and encourage us. Again, I am not against blogging, or I wouldn't be here. I know that committed Christians sometimes seem as rare as a tree in the dessert. Remember that you are not alone. Perhaps even in your own city there is someone younger than you who needs your example and encouragement to press on in the faith. Perhaps someone who has been afraid to step out because they have felt as alone as you. So, get your encouragement here on the blogs but take that same encouragement out into the real world. Show someone else how beautiful a Christian should be. We are here with you!!!
Calla Lilly

Anonymous said...

Thank you Calla Lilly for your encouraging words. It's easy to feel like giving up sometimes. My dh and I currently work with a youth ministry at one of our denomination's churches, hoping we might be able to help the young ones make a decision for Christ. The loneliness is not for company so much as for friends of like mind. We are considered too straight laced by our church. It's difficult to have real fellowship with people who are so different from us (ie: wife rules home, wear jeans to church, accepting a new and strange gospel, rock music in the church, wordly entertainments, rebellious children, acceptance of feminism...I could go on...we hardly have anything in common with others at our church. I should add we have only recently moved to this city. There are three groups we can fellowship with but they are all about 3hrs drive away.

Anyway enough of this depressing talk. Thank you for your post, I read it to my husband last night. He agrees, it's not good to rely on the internet for fellowship. We are going to try to do something about it (my husband is lonely too).

Terri said...

Blessings to you, Calla Lily, for this post! And for the stand you have taken and the wisdom you are imparting.

To Anonymous, keep praying over your situation. God may have you in that church to be an example. As long as you feel you are in His will, He will bless you where you are. I will pray for you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Terri. :)

Kate said...

This has been on my heart lately, too. I have some wonderful friends who've I've neglected. It's easy to make excuses when there's a baby in the house. Time to tidy up and invite someone to dinner, or at least give them a call. I don't have to clean house to call them :).

I have friends from various walks of life. I don't believe in limiting myself from the blessings I can receive from others, even if they aren't Christian. Of course how close I am to them relies on how our personalities mesh and their walk in life/Christ. Because of this, I am very blessed and very loved and have a great and wide support group behind me.

Please don't neglect being friends with someone just because they aren't Christian or don't believe exactly as you do. You'll be missing out on a lot if you do.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I've been thinking about what you've said - that is, not limiting oneself to friendships with only with those of your own faith.

Other people have tried to pursue friendships with us but we have held back. I guess we think - it won't work out, we are so different. I feel a ashamed to admit this.

There are barriers, one is drinking for example. It is an important part of our culture. We have a saying here, "Never trust someone who doesn't drink". In pursuing friendships in the past, this one has come up time and time again. Many people find it hard to accept that we don't drink. Once that little reality sinks in the friendship cools.

Then there's our beliefs about sport especially football (really big here). People wonder why we don't support a 'team' and why we know very little about the sport. We don't listen to popular music, watch popular TV programming, watch popular movies...I could go on. The point is we are very different. We've both thought of compromising...but the mind and heart can't do it.

Christ befriended people of all walks of life without compromise. As followers of Christ should be able to as well. This is indeed food for thought.

Terri said...

Dear Anonymous,

Your last comment is very thought provoking - "Christ befriended people of all walks of life without compromise. As followers of Christ should be able to as well." Thank you for sharing your family's convictions.