Today we are discussing chapter 1 of our bookclub book, Befriend, by Scott Sauls. Even if you haven’t read the material or didn’t participate last week, please don’t hesitate to share your heart! This is how it works: I’ll post some initial thoughts and recap some of Saul’s points, but then I will ask questions in the comments section. If you see a question you want to answer, simply reply to the question. And if you want to reply to someone else’s comment, please do! Or, if you want to ask your own question or start a new talking point, just create an original comment that isn’t a reply to anyone else’s. Make sure you check back throughout the week in case someone has posted on your comment or asked you a question. Ground rules: This is meant to be an encouraging, redemptive conversation. Unkindness will not be tolerated (toward the book, author, or each other). If any comment can be construed as unkind at all, it will be deleted. Let’s get started!
Chapter 1, entitled A Case for Friendship is basically Sauls’ argument for why we need to work on creating face-to-face, authentic relationships. He talks about different kinds of friendships and why they are not ideal. For example, he says that with online relationships, the danger is that Our digital friends are experiencing part of us but not all of us. When online relationships take priority over real friendship, the result is usually more loneliness and isolation, not less.
He also talks about transactional friendships, in which we use friends as a means to an end instead of serving each other: They support, champion, encourage, serve, forgive, and strengthen each other. In real friendship, the flourishing of other people takes priority over our own goals and ambitions.
Another less-than kind of friendship he discusses is one-dimensional friendship in which the relationship revolves around a common interest; because these friends are similar, views and convictions and practices are never challenged and blind spots are never uncovered. Sanctification and refining doesn’t happen much in these friendships. Sauls says, real friendship happens when we move toward the people we are most tempted to avoid. These are the people who are best equipped to challenge our perspectives, push our buttons, and require us to put on love.
Please scroll down to the comments section to see this chapter’s questions. And if you have your own question or comment you’d like to post, please do!
Right now, how would you describe most of your friendships?
Would you say that most of your friendships are one-dimensional or real?
What scares you, and what excites you, about plunging into the rest of this book?