I will be your friend

August 28th, 2019

Simple wisdom

On the first day of school, 6-year-old Blake Rajahn walked into class with a simple message on his T-shirt: “I will be your friend.” He was concerned that kids who had been bullied or left out in the past might need a friend on the first day of the new school year. Since his mom has a business designing and making T-shirts, Blake decided he wanted a custom shirt with a special message. Soon, his story and photos of his shirt went viral, spreading far and wide from his home in Fayette County, Georgia. His message is simple, “I want to make sure that kids who are bullied know they have a friend already.”

Not-so-simple world

Especially during the teen years, friendships get more complicated. Teens manage different friend groups based on activities, but friend groups may not overlap much. Teens can face harsh judgment for being friends with certain people. Dealing with social pressures, along with one’s own insecurities and social anxieties, can make teens cautious when making friends. In addition, social media and technology seem to have isolated us more and made us feel more alone than ever. Most of us would rather just scroll social media than make eye contact with or speak to others in waiting rooms, classrooms or any other public spaces. In addition, our fear of being out in public places because of gun violence contributes to our sense of isolation and anxiety about reaching out to others.

He calls us “friend”

Jesus had complicated friendships too. The disciples wanted to know which of them was his favorite. Some rich friends didn’t want him to have poor friends, and no one wanted him to befriend the tax collector. But Jesus calls us “friends” and asks us to step out of our fears, to reach out in love and to befriend and defend those who need it most.

Question of the day: How comfortable are you initiating friendships?
Focal scriptures: Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 5:1-12; Luke 5:33-38

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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