Posted by: rmckinno1 | April 14, 2011

Living in a “friend-less” World

The name of the post sounds depressing, doesn’t it? I guess that it should, though. Because I’m coming to a place to see just how true it is, and the sadness I feel is deep.

One of the things that I have learned a great deal about through this ordeal I am walking through is how much I’ve needed honest, true, un-conditional support in the form of friendships.  I’m a people person. I like being around others in a social setting, church setting or ministry setting.

I can’t tell you the number of people who I considered friends who told me, “I’m praying for you”, or “I’m here for you”, or “You’re not alone, brother”. I could list so many more. The thing that shocked me is that out of all the “friends” I have, only two have walked the walk with me. Out of these two, only one contacted/contacts me almost daily.  This friend would call me if I didn’t call him to check in. He would call me if I had been a real jerk the last time we talked. He called me even when he was sick. He called me when HE wasn’t doing good at the moment. His commitment to “walk with me so that I wouldn’t be alone” was REAL.

Am I trying to make anyone feel guilty?  NO!!!  It’s just that I  found myself struggling with the understanding that we truly don’t have a clear understanding of what real friendship is like. I believe we (as a people) have equated “friendship” with “acquaintance”.

But friendship is so much more. Friendship is a commitment every bit as deep as blood relationships. Many times it’s even stronger!

It’s made it easier not to be hurt and angry at the “friend-less” place I found myself when all the people who said they were “with me” actually didn’t walk that out in a practical way. It’s also made me more determined than ever to BE a friend – a TRUE friend, and not to make the casual comments that should actually be commitments to the people around me.

However, one thing I’ve found out through this is that many people don’t really WANT a true friend. They like the safe, non-committal distance that acquaintance offers, where true friendship demands sacrifice and hard work.

And that’s ok for them if that’s where they are at. I still believe that everyone longs for it, but is not willing to put forth the hard work and effort it takes to develop a true, honest friendship. A wise man once said, “He who has one true friend is the richest man on earth.”

I’ve had a rough time with this. I’ve had so many people around me. I could have called any one of them at any time and they would have been very happy that I did. But I needed something more, I guess. And the sadness that haunts me is sometimes extremely painful.

I’ve held out on posting this for some reason, but after reading a post my brother sent out this morning I realized what my sadness was all about. I’m lonely. Desperately lonely. This has driven me more toward Jesus than ever before, but I still long for that relationship that is more than just marriage, blood or “spiritually” based.  Thanks, Fred, for opening my eyes further with your confession.



  1. Rob,
    Thanks so much for bearing your soul and allowing me to read this. I, to have been struggling lately with the concept of true friendship and what it entails. You are very right in the fact that it is a great deal of work to be a true friend – even when you don’t want to. We all need someone to let us know that they love us and think of us at a moment’s notice. And you are also correct in stating that “if you have one TRUE friend, you are blessed.” I can only say that I will be your friend to the end, and will always be here when you need me, but after reading your prose, I, too question whether our friendship is just that or just a very caring acquaintance.

    • We’ve been through alot in our years together, Hope. There are certain people you have in your life that you become “distanced” from due to many kinds of reasons. But then when you see them or talk to them again, it’s almost as if no time has passed at all between you! THAT’S the kind of friend you are. We would never have to “catch up”. We just pick up where we left off.

      Friends like that are very hard to find, too.

  2. Thanks, Rob – that means a lot – don’t forget, you are ALWAYS in my prayers!

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