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Go First

By Phillip Howle
web posted August 19, 2015

RELIGION – We are a lonely disconnected people. When Adam and Eve sinned, distrust and alienation came into the world. This was evidenced by Cain killing his own brother, Abel, over jealousy. Relationships have been hard ever since. Divorce, family drama, workplace conflict, church conflict, political drama, the list of potential relational conflict never ends.

This is the attraction of social media. We get to choose who we are friends with. We get to choose what parts of our life we share. We can easily unfriend someone when a conflict arises. But social media is no substitute of real flesh and blood life on life relationships.

We know this, having a BBQ with a smart phone or tablet and a Facebook app just ain’t hitting on much! But this does not stop some people from trying. I was blown away by a story I read last week. A new smartphone application allows people to pretend they have a significant other. It was created by a St. Louis designer Matthew Homann. The app called Invisible Boyfriend, allows women and men to trade text messages and voicemails with a fictional boyfriend or girlfriend. According to Homann, single women who use the app just want to use the text messages and voicemails to convince their friends and family that they are in a relationship. “We’re not trying to build something that could fool you,” he told Time. “Our intention has always been to build something that helps you tell a better story about a relationship you’re not in.” That last sentence was great.

But for 25 dollars a months you have a service that will text you back and forth real messages based on your likes and dislikes. They are not computer generated but come from real people who are paid to be your pretend significant other. I read many reviews from people who said it was the most meaningful part of their day. They said the service actually cared about them and never felt like the person who was texting them was trying to get anything from them or use them. (They forget the 25 dollars a month they pay for this service.)

My grandmother always told me “to have a friend you have to be a friend.” The reality is that many times we find ourselves alone, but we have not made the effort to get to know people. We curse nothing to do on a Friday night, all the while another person or family is doing the same thing and all it takes is someone inviting the other over for chicken wings.
Will you be the first person? Will you make it a priority to make a new friend? Will you go first and invite a new family into your life? The reality of the Christian life is that Jesus went first. The Bible says none of us were looking for Jesus (Rom 3:10-12) but he took the initiative to come to us (Rom 5:8). So invite someone over this week. Don’t freak out about your house, their house is not always spotless either! Real life is best lived with real people who will bless you and bless you out! Relationships are not always easy, but they make life worth living.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Pastor Phillip

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