Befriend: Creating Belonging in an age of Judgement, Isolation, and Fear by Scott Sauls wasn’t quite what I expected in this book. But that’s not at all a bad thing.
In a world where much of our communication with others is via Facebook, text messages, instant messages, 140 characters on Twitter, or photos on Instagram, we’ve lost a lot of personal interaction. An opportunity to go deeper. Be more understanding. Give a piece of ourselves to others. In short, we’ve limited ourselves to our circle of friends online and in our cell phone contacts. How many of us even take the time to send a personal, meaningful email to a friend or family member?
What Scott Sauls encourages readers to Befriend is to step away from the computers, to put down the cell phones, and make real connections. And again, the challenge is to step outside our circle of influence and get to know people who are different than us—the poor, the wealthy, people with different political views, the disabled, and children to name just a few.
At the beginning of the book, Sauls offers three ways to read his book: read a chapter a day (to ruminate on each challenge), as a small group study, or reading it through in one or two sittings. I can definitely see the advantage and potential for deeper friendships as well as servant opportunities that would benefit a small group.
Even reading Befriend in a few sittings challenged me to reach out to others. Others who don’t live in my neighborhood (or city or country). Those who have less (or more) than me. People who view life through different eyes than I do. Because in the end, my relationships should be a reflection of Jesus, and he hung out with every type of person.
***The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.