So recently I went through my Facebook and de-friended about 30 or so people. I didn't do it to be mean or because I didn't like the person anymore or even because I didn't have good memories of their friendship but rather only to indicate that this person hasn't spoken to me, liked any status or commented on a status of mine in at least 9 months to a year and I've met new people and want to see what they are up to, interact more with them in this stage of my life and not focus on the folks that have their own "new folks" in their lives. It's not to say we weren't friends at one time it was to say that God put you in my life for a season for whatever reason and now we're not in contact. You've moved on and so have I. Sad in some cases and in other cases it's just the way life is.
Why do you de-friend someone?
The people that have de-friended me (that I've noticed) in the last year however have de-friended me for apparently other reasons I am guessing. I get the distinct feeling and no I don't know this to be fact but I can name at least 8 individuals who have de-friended me because they know I'm a Christian and because the word of God does not agree with or otherwise condone the way they are living their lives or the decisions they've made and they don't want to be reminded of it.
Now the one thing I want to point out is that I have not spoken to any of these individuals directly and said anything about not wanting to be their friend, not agreeing with their lifestyle or being unhappy, disappointed or otherwise afraid for them and the choices they made. They just decided based on the fact of who I was and who I represent to de-friend me. I wanted to keep these friends. Pray for them, encourage them to come back to God or to seek Him out if they've never known them. I wanted to say, "WAIT! You're going the wrong direction and it leads to death. Believe me I know because I traveled down your road and God had to kill that part of me that was so rebellious. " But I didn't.
hmmmm I've come up with four reasons:
First, I was afraid of being de-friended both on FB and in real life and therefore never having an impact on this person's life by the posts I post or interactions we might have (ok pretty reasonable and likely I think).
Secondly, I think maybe I was afraid of the nasty and fear mongering techniques currently in place by most people who disagree with you on nearly any topic of importance. They attempt to put you on the spot, call you intolerant or judgmental (not just non-Christians do this btw), talk about you to others and try to get them to agree these bad things about you, etc. (Keep in mind that these people are supposedly your "friends"!)
Thirdly, I am not going to say I am 100% certain on Jesus' response to all of these controversial topics discussed on FB today. Some, according to the bible are extremely clear cut and therefore I am also (thou shall not kill) but others are trickier and I pray a LOT about how Jesus would respond to things.
Four - I just didn't care deeply enough about the person to speak the truth into their lives despite the consequences. (God help me to love like YOU love!)
Only one of the people who de-friended me because of my beliefs had the guts to message me and tell me she was doing it because of my stance on abortion. We had a long and heartfelt discussion but in the end agreed it was best to not stay in contact. I still think about her and pray for her. Her de-friending me actually made her come to mind a lot more often than she normally would have if I'm being honest. It wasn't my idea to be de-friended but those that know me know there's nothing I'm more passionate about that protecting our children - both in the womb and outside it and she didn't agree. So that's that. Jesus walked away from many, many people after speaking the truth into their lives. He didn't beg ANYONE to be his friend or his follower. He just presented the facts and told them to go and sin no more.
Oh to be more like Jesus and less like such a wimp. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,. The courage to change the things I can,. And wisdom to know the difference. - Serenity Prayer
James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
My question to you is, what do you do? Do you speak truth in love or do you try to intimidate, frighten or bully people into believing like you? Do you have pet sins that are in your eyes far greater than others despite what the bible says? As a % of your income how much have you tithed in the last year? How many missions trips have you gone on in the last 3 years or how many missionaries do you regularly support that are taking the gospel out? How many people have you shared your testimony with in the last 6 months? How many "things" did you buy that you or your children did not desperately (BE HONEST!) need (PS: It doesn't matter if it was a REALLY great deal!) How many children have you saved from starvation or sickness around the world in the last year? How many "white" lies have you told in the last week? Do you steal? Gosh the list of our sins could go on and on and on and on. Yes praise God that He grants grace. Does it mean we can sit back and ignore our sins or worse, celebrate them? NO! Those Christians who believe you can continue in a lifestyle that is in direct conflict with the word of God without constantly seeking God, asking for forgiveness and truly repenting ("turning away from") are just desperately in need of truth in their lives. Truth isn't what happens to be right for you or the guy down the street. Truth is 2x2 = 4. It's the same in Germany, in America, in China.
Find truth. Stop justifying. Speak up and out and love.
Above all else, love one another for love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8.