Facebook Friends

December 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just went through all my Facebook friends and deleted a lot of them. That wasn’t my goal. My goal was to see who all was there, if I know them, if I interact with them in any way. I don’t play games on Facebook – anymore – but when I did I would get requests from all over the planet and just say yes to all of them.

As I was looking, I began thinking, “why are these people on my list if I never have anything to do with them?” So, I deleted them. I also deleted people who are in their underwear in their profile pic, most people whose names I can’t pronounce, and accounts set up just for playing games (sorry ZoMbIeFaRmEr_1287). It was most refreshing to refresh the screen and see that I had a lot less friends than I did just moments before.

Now I think you all know that, even of the ones that are left, some of them I don’t know. I’ve never met them and will never meet them. Some of them are friends just because they’re famous or say funny things or have information that I need from time to time. Others I felt sorry for – one guy has like 12 friends and nobody said “happy birthday” to him, so I kept him out of pity I guess. But overall, yeah, my list is lighter and I’m happy about that.

Sometimes my life seems to get cluttered like that. Sometimes I feel like I’m carrying around a lot of excess and need to offload before I collapse – mentally, spiritually, or even physically.

Sometimes I feel that way because my attitude stinks and I need to do away with wrong thinking. Sometimes I have some kind of habit that I need to drop, or some way of doing things thats wrong that I need to correct. When make I the proper adjustments, I feel lighter, more free, like I can do anything. Maybe that’s the point.

This whole process reminds me of John 15:1-5 – read this – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

God does 2 things according to these verses. The first thing is, he cuts off branches that don’t bear fruit. What that means is, if you’re a Christian and are self absorbed and only focused on your own life issues, watch out. God is forgiving, and in fact if you’re saved, you’re already forgiven, but if you’re of no use and you’ve been given ample opportunity to change your ways, He may just go ahead and bring you home.

The second thing is, if you are bearing fruit, He will prune you. I worked in a peach orchard one summer. Part of the job was pruning trees. Trees are pruned for 3 good reasons – safety, aesthetics, and health. Sometimes a branch is broken and in danger of falling off – so we go ahead and prune it to keep it from falling on someone’s head. Sometimes, the tree grows rapidly on one side and looks out of balance, so we prune it to make it look symmetrical. Sometimes, there are dead or diseased branches, so we cut those out to restore the tree to health. Doing all of this allows the tree to focus on what it’s supposed to be doing – bearing fruit.

It’s the same in our Christian life. Have you ever been shocked to find out that a Christian friend has a foul mouth when driving in rush hour traffic? Or maybe you saw the leader of your small group bible study light up a giant cigar and just couldn’t believe it. Maybe there’s some secret sin in your life that you just don’t know how to deal with, and you feel like it’s destroying you on the inside.

That’s where God comes in. He cuts all that stuff away, and the result is, a leaner, lighter, freer you. A you capable of doing what you’re suppose to be doing – bearing fruit.

So back to Facebook. It’s not like it runs faster because I have less friends. I just never got anything out of being friends with them, and as far as I know, they never got anything from me either. So, I let them go. They will never show up on that little list on my profile, I’ll never get another invite to play Texas Hold ‘Em from them, and their birthday won’t pop up anymore. Less overhead. Less distraction. Now I can focus on the rest of you. I want to learn from you, interact with you and hopefully I can teach you something as well.

As for the rest of you, thanks for being my friends!

Rich Nifong

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I love Jesus, my wife Cheryl, my girls Trinity and Zoey, Gateway Church, long walks in the rain and anything on Discovery.

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