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Today’s Truth

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20 NIV).

Friend to Friend

I’ve never been popular by the world’s standards. I’m not part of any “in” group; I’ve always felt more comfortable with a few close friends than with lots of acquaintances. And, for the most part, I’ve been content with this. Don’t get me wrong; junior high and high school were hard—that horrible but necessary season of life when everyone struggles to discover who they are and where they belong in this world. Except for that brief coming-of-age period, I’ve always been comfortable with myself. I’d even go so far as to claim Psalm 16:6: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”

However, even with my contented sensibilities, social media can take a toll on my feelings. Sometimes I come across pictures of “friends” getting together without me and feel the quick sting of rejection, and every now and then the sting stays with me for a few days. What’s more, everyone else online seems to have so many friends when I only have a few. That’s when I have to preach to my own heart what I know to be true: I don’t need everyone to like me, love me, or invite me.

As long as I am safe and secure in that most important, always-inclusive relationship with God through Christ, all other fellowship is merely icing on an already satisfying cake. Though I love frosting . . . this metaphorical cake doesn’t need a ton of it. I’m loved. And so are you.

Being rooted in that love relationship allows us to bloom securely, even when we’re tempted to feel insecure about our place in the virtual world. The truth is, we were never intended to be everyone’s BFF. When Jesus speaks to us about friendship, He uses simple math. No big numbers, no hard equations. In Matthew 18:20, He tells us that in order to enjoy His presence, we just need a couple of close friends to enjoy Him with: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

It’s okay to have surface-level relationships on-line and in real-life; not every post or conversation needs to be meaningful. The challenge is striking a balance. We live in a culture that values beautiful pictures but isn’t comfortable with beautiful brokenness. We post highlights for all to see while forsaking the friends with whom we can safely share the low-lights.

It’s alright if our social media stream reads more like a personal scrapbook of highlights. It’s an easy way to share the fun stuff with our extended family and friends. There’s no shame in that. There’s nothing wrong with a snapshot of our favorite food (#yum) and our date night (#lovehim) and trips to the park (#momlife). That said, we all need a few trusted girlfriends we can come to with our private prayer requests, our fresh diagnoses, our confessions, and our fears.

Just the other day I received a group text from my friend Emily. She sent it to four of us, wishing one of our dearest friends a happy birthday. For the next two hours we all joined in sending birthday wishes, sharing pictures and updates about our families, and going deep with private prayer requests. Emily capped things off by saying, “I love this text string so much and I want to continue it regularly. You ladies introduced me to our Lord and Savior nearly twenty years ago. You will always be my heart sisters.”

Heart sisters. For twenty years. In a world where we carry a thousand friends in our pockets and our purses, Emily has four she carries in her heart. Heart sisters.

We don’t need everyone to like us, love us, invite us, or include us. In God’s economy, two or three faithful friends make for great wealth. In the company of just a few, we get to experience the richness of His presence and the warmth of their sincere support.

You don’t need lots of girlfriends… just a few “Girlfriends in God.”

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me a couple of real friends. Though this digital age tempts me to believe I need the whole world (wide web) to like me, I really only need You and the intimate group of family and friends You’ve blessed me with. Thank You for the few gold strands You’ve carefully braided into the tapestry of my life.

In Jesus’s Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn  

What is one way you can safeguard your heart from feeling left out or less than when looking at social media?

More from the Girlfriends 

If the people you are following online have gotten between you and the only One who said “Follow Me,” consider taking a 40 Day Social Media Fast. Exchange your online distractions for real-life devotion—to Christ and the few special flesh-and-blood people He’s put right in front of you! Find out more at 40daysocialmediafast.com

© 2020 by Wendy Speake. All rights reserved.

7 Responses to “You Don’t Need Lots of Friends… Just a Few “Girlfriends in God””

  1. Cheryl says:

    Love you Wendy! You’re always spot on!

  2. Wanda says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL DEVOTION. IT SPOKE TO MY HEART. NOT THE SOCIAL MEDIA PART BUT THE FRIENDSHIP PART. FROM THE TIME I GOT MARRIED I FELT THAT I NEEDED TO BE WITH MY HUSBAND AND CHILDREN MORE THAN GIRLFRIENDS. MY HUSBAND WORKED SWING SHIFT AND I WORKED FULL TIME AS WELL.WE WERE YOUNG AND IN LOVE AND NEVER WANTED TO BE APART SO I JUST DIDN’T DO STUFF WITH GIRLFRIENDS MUCH. THEN THE KIDS CAME AND ONE CHILD HAS ASPERGER’S SYNDROME. MOST FOLKS DIDN’T UNDERSTAND HIS LITTLE QUIRKS AND GOT EASILY AGITATED BY HIS SOMETIMES STRANGE BEHAVIOR SO IT WAS JUST EASIER TO PULL AWAY AND MOSTLY DO THINGS AS A FAMILY. I FELT THAT I WAS PROTECTING HIM AND ALSO PROTECTING MY FEELINGS.NOW THAT MY KIDS ARE ALL GROWN I WISH I HAD MORE GIRLFRIENDS BUT I HEAR MY DAUGHTER TALK ABOUT ALL THE TIFFS AND FUSSES SHE HEARS BETWEEN FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK AND I THINK –NAH ITS OK I DON’T NEED ALL THAT DRAMA. I HAVE JUST A FEW LADIES MAYBE 2 OR 3, INCLUDING MY GROWN DAUGHTER THAT I TRUST ENOUGH TO CONFIDE IN AND I CAN JUST BE MYSELF WITH AND THAT IS ENOUGH. MOST OF ALL I HAVE JESUS. I STRUGGLE ALL THE TIME FROM FEELING (LESS THAN) AND I ALWAYS HAVE . THANKS FOR THIS DEVOTION BECAUSE IT LETS ME KNOW THAT ITS OK TO NOT ALWAYS BE GOING AND DOING WITH OTHER LADIES. ITS OK TO JUST BE CONTENT WITH MY WONDERFUL HUBBY AND MY TERRIFIC KIDS, GRANDKIDS AND MY 2 OR 3 SWEET LADY FRIENDS. : )

  3. Judy says:

    When I look back and think of those who I thought to be friends, they really weren’t. I didn’t want to make the choices they made or do the things they did and our friendship ended. It really wasn’t a friendship. Many of them ar no longer here or they are in places I wouldn’t want to be. Real friends accept you for who you are. Thank God wen didn’t remain friends. I learned a lot about friends.

  4. Alana says:

    What a great message!! I have struggled with my insecurities for years about this whole friendship issue! I always wanted a best girlfriend , ( lucy and Ethel).My husband is my best friend though. I guess that’s a blessing because i have a really good marriage! My sister is my next best friend. The Lord put both in my life so I have to be content with that.💜☺Of course the Lord is always with me even though I can’t see him. I’m retired now but looking back I can appreciate how much the Lord was always with me and even protecting me in some situations.
    Anyway, i so enjoy Girlfriends in God !!! Its an answer to prayer for me to have such sweet, lovely and godly ladies to share with! I feel like I know you each personally as you share your thoughts and daily struggles.
    Thank you my sweet girlfriends in God!!!
    Alana

  5. Karenlee says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a best friend. Husband isn’t the same 🥺

  6. Joanna says:

    I love this line, “We live in a culture that values beautiful pictures but isn’t comfortable with beautiful brokenness.” In a society so focused on the external, God wants us to focus on the internal. Thank God for good friends that we hold in our hearts that allow us to be real. These friends are a gift from God that we can treasure forever.

  7. Kay says:

    This is something I have struggled with my entire life. I was never one to have many friends in school and in adult hood I feel as if I don’t really have anyone. I know life’s circumstances playa big part in where I’m at right now. One way that I have avoided that “hurt” feeling is to completely avoid all social media. It’s been pretty easy to do so with all the other happening. I have found that if I make sure I have time daily to spend with the Lord and reflect, write and read I am much better off then not. Wendy thank you for sharing this devotion as it’s a perfect reminder to put focus on God and spend time with him instead on other places along with helping me realize that I’m not alone in those “hurt” feelings.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8