Why Being a Friend takes more than a Click (Five Minute Friday)


For the last five weeks I’ve participated in Lisa-Jo Baker’s “Five-Minute Friday”. The concept is simply writing for 5 minutes, straight from the heart, on a given subject – and then sharing it.

No edits, no marinading or reflecting – just write and share.

If you’re a writer or blogger of any kind, I’d definitely recommend it – it really pushes you and helps you grow as a writer.

Today’s theme is ‘Friend’ – which was a testing one given I wrote a post on it last night and was shattered after a busy week. But I had a go. So here’s my thoughts on ‘Friend’ – do let me know what you think!

How many friends do you have? In a world where we can ‘friend’ people we’ve never met by social media, we can be friends with lots of people we’ve never met. I have hundreds of Facebook friends and over 1000 Twitter followers.

But am I really ‘friends’ with all of those?

What really is a friend?

I think the meaning of the word has been lost, or diluted. We’ve made ‘friend’ a byword for someone we’ve had one conversation with online or in person, and only have the odd interaction from time to time afterward.

Is that a friend?

Not in my book.

Being a friend is much, much more than making a click on your mouse.

A friend is someone who when you’re having the lowest moment you’ve had for a long time – as I did earlier this week – are there to pick you up. They speak truth and encouragement into your life when you need it the most – no matter what else they may be doing.

Friends tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. They speak truth and love into your life. They remind you who you really are, and don’t put conditions on their love.

And these friends can be physical, face to face friends, or close relationships you’ve made online. The medium doesn’t necessary mean the relationship is any less. Some of my closest friendships are with people who I’ve never met face to face.

In the midst of my dark day of the soul this week I interacted with three good friends who I trust completely – and who I’ve never met. Meanwhile one of my older and closest friends, who knew nothing of my struggle at the time, happened to message me at that exact moment – with a word of encouragement.

A word he’d had from God about a gifting and calling for me.

It was no coincidence this happened at the exact moment it did. Because we’re such good friends, there is something divine in our friendship – and God spoke to Him at that precise moment because I needed to hear from him.

You see a friend isn’t a person you connect with only once and barely interact with.

A friend is someone who, essentially, is Jesus to someone else.

Who will love them unconditionally. Accept them as they are, but not let them stay that way. Support them when the whole world is against them. Forgive when they make mistakes. Show them grace. And give them a kick up the backside when you need it.

To be a friend is a commitment.

And we all need friends

and to be friends.






This post is part of ’5 Minute Friday’ – today, on the theme “Friend”.

Find out more here!



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  1. tim gallen on April 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    ok, james, you’ve convinced me: i gotta see about fitting five-minute friday into my weekly routine. i love your thoughts on friend and what it means. i agree the word’s definition has stretched in our new reality of social media. initially i thought this was a negative thing but i’ve since changed my thoughts on this. more friends is not a bad thing. or perhaps, more accurately, it shouldn’t matter where the friendship began. some of my dearest friends are on social media. heck, i met my wife on a dating site!

    good post and thanks for your friendship. 🙂

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Hey Tim, thanks for your comment – and your friendship. Really excited to hear you’ll be participating in Five Minute Friday, will help you grow as a writer for sure. And I’ve met girlfriends online too!

  2. Christa Sterken on April 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Well done James, truly well done

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Christa, that means a lot. Really appreciate it.

  3. Tara Cole on April 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Yes! That, is a friend.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Agree – thanks for the encouragement, and the comment 🙂

  4. Anastacia Maness on April 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Great post, James! I especially like the line “Friends tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.” So true!

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Anastacia, really appreciate that comment – thanks for sharing!

  5. Erika Simone on April 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    So, how can I get in on these five-minute-friday things? 🙂

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Hey Erika, it’s pretty simple. First, go here and sign up – http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/ and you will get an e-mail each Friday with a topic. Then write a post in five minutes on the topic, post it on your blog, link up on Lisa Jo’s site and comment on the one posted before yours. It’s really simple. Any questions, do let me know!

  6. Katina Vaselopulos on April 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Great topic and well a written post, James. Friendship is one relationship that makes Love shine. One cannot exist without the other, not in the true meaning of the words. Staying connected is essensial. What is even more important is to be accountable even in absence. I have great friends with whom I don’t always keep in constant touch, but they know that if they need me I will be there no matter what. I also know they would do the same for me. In Ancient Greece friendship was respected and encouraged. Friends like Damon and Pheidias are still examples of great love and friendship.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Great comment Katina, with great wisdom and insight – totally agree. My best friend I don’t see as often, but we are always there for each other when we need each other. Thanks for your comment, appreciate it.

  7. Beth on April 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Beautiful truth and so well written! “Being a friend is much, much more than making a click on your mouse.” God has been teaching me so much on going deeper with my friends…to truly “do life together.” Your words will remain on my heart today.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Beth & the encouragement – really appreciate it!

  8. Anne Peterson on April 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Great post, James. And I agree with you. I have friends I’ve had for years, but I also have some friends I haven’t met face to face yet. Friendship is really important. David and Jonathan thought so too.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Anne, glad you agree – and David & Jonathan is a great example.

  9. Eileen on April 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Great points, James. One thing I’ve noticed personally is that with such easy access to so many potential friendships online that it’s hard to keep up. You want to be a friend and invest in people but there is only so much time in a day. I value the deep friendships I have in my life. They are such a blessing. I just sometimes wish there was more time in a day to get to know more people.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Absolutely agree with you here Eileen – I suspect there is a limit to how many close friends we can really have because of the amount of energy and work it requires. It really can be hard to keep up online, and I definitely struggle with it too. Thanks for your comment Eileen, great wisdom here.

  10. Kim on April 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Some of my best friends in recent months have been those I’ve only interacted with online. I lost two real life “friends” (I’m using that very loosely with these two) in the past month when I hit a major low point thanks to severe depression.

    Although they said they understood depression and how difficult it was, when faced with a friend who was going through a rough time they could not be there. They chose not to be there unless it was on their terms. It was painful but it was what I needed. It allowed me to see who they were really were.

    I have many “friends” on Facebook but I prefer to refer to a majority of them as acquaintances. Many I chat with and toss around ideas with on occasion but not all I fully connect with. And that’s okay. Sometimes just having peers in the form of acquaintances or potential business partners is good enough, at least for me.

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I agree with you Kim – I have had the same experience with online friends – and when I say friends I mean friends. I have lots of ‘friends’ who are more acquaintances, and like you that’s how I describe them. I think it’s perfectly fine to have both and interact with them differently and have different relationships with each person.

      Wise words and a great comment – thanks for sharing, really do appreciate it.

  11. Joy Lenton on April 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    An excellent post, James, that makes very pertinent observations about the nature of true friendship. We may count all our social media followers as ‘friends’ but not many will fit into the criteria here of being grace, salt and light for one another. Finding those who represent Jesus to us is a precious thing indeed. I value the deep friendships I have in actual and on-line life, though it certainly requires time, work, perseverance and commitment to be a good friend to another. The investment into one another’s lives is worth the effort. Bless you 🙂 x

    • James Prescott on April 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment Joy, wise and encouraging as ever. Totally agree with what you say, very few fit into the criteria of grace, salt and light as you so beautifully put it. I count you as one of my best and closest friends for example – although we’ve never physically met. The investment is most definitely worth it!

  12. Denise Oldham on April 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Love, love, love this.

  13. Laura Hedgecock on April 27, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Very insightful James. I wish English had words to distinguish between true friends and people with whom we are friendly.

    Laura Hedgecock

    • James Prescott on April 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Thanks for the encouragement Laura, appreciate it – and agree, we need a word for it don’t we?

  14. Alene Snodgrass on April 27, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Totally beautiful and awesome truth!!! Always love your encouraging words here.

    • James Prescott on April 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Thanks Alene, really appreciate your encouragement and you commenting here. Be blessed!

  15. Mandy on April 27, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I agree with you James – True friendship is so important. Hope you’re feeling brighter.

    • James Prescott on April 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Hey Mandy, thanks for your comment & encouragement. I am feeling better too.

  16. Shannon Cochran on April 27, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Right on, Brother James! Makes me smile to hear how our God who Sees, saw and met your specific needs this week through the love and truth of real friends!

    • James Prescott on April 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

      Hey, thanks Shannon, really appreciate your comment and encouragement. And it was awesome to experience how God met my needs this week. Be blessed! 🙂

  17. Elise Stokes on April 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Wow! That was a productive 5 minutes. 😉 Well said and insightful, as usual. If you have a “Jesus” friend, you have gold. Value that relationship. It’s a gift.

    • James Prescott on April 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks for your comment Elise & for the great encouragement. Totally agree with what you say about ‘Jesus’ friends. 🙂

  18. Richelle Wright on May 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    i loved how you drew out the fact that some friendships have a “divine” element because while they are face to face, people friends with people, and otherwise normal friendships, God speak and impresses and works through those friendships and sometimes gifts us with the understanding that that is what He just did.

    enjoyed your post – and thanks for popping by my blog today.

    • James Prescott on May 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks for commenting Richelle, really appreciate it. Glad the post spoke to you. No problem about your blog, my pleasure! 🙂

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