By Greg Johnson
As one of the more social kids at school, you have lots of friends. Nearly every week someone calls and asks you to come over to play. You, of course, love to go. Basketball, soccer, baseball, army, sports cards—whatever your friends want to do, you’ll join in.
Naturally, you have four or five who are closer friends than all the rest. These kids you’ll spend the night with, or who will spend the night with you. Then there are your friends at church. They are not quite as close because you don’t spend as much time with them, but they’re good guys.
One day while climbing the monkey bars at recess, a kid comes over to where you and your friend are showing off to the girls. He tries to join in. Now this guy is not one of your close friends. In fact, you’ve hardly even talked to him since school started. He hasn’t learned how to fit in, he doesn’t talk too much and isn’t into sports (he’s usually the last guy picked for football at lunchtime recess).
He’s nice, but sometimes he tries a little too hard. While everyone is goofing off, he asks you if you can come over to his house after school the next day. All of your friends look at you, then him, then back at you.
Thinking quickly, you say you’ll check with your mom and tell him tomorrow. You can almost predict that if you do go over to his house, it’ll be boring because you don’t have a lot in common. Plus, you’re not sure you want him to start thinking of you as one of his friends.
Mom gives the predictable, “Fine with me.”
Now you’re faced with a dilemma: go over to the guy’s house or somehow (without lying) let him know you don’t want to.
Questions to Think On
• What would you do and why?
• Are most loners weird, or have they just never been given a chance?
• What would be the disadvantages of going? How about the advantages?
• There are several reasons why some kids don’t have many friends: they’ve moved a lot, their parents never taught them how to talk to others; they fear rejection (based on past experience). What can be done to bring someone up to a level where they can form friendships of their own?
What Does God Have to Say?
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13