Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding & Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker
This book starts off with a firm grounding in Scripture. The author asks, “What is the greatest commandment?” Well, we know the answer to that, because Jesus stated it clearly:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
I especially appreciated the author’s sound Biblical basis for this book. Starting with the greatest commandments—you can’t do any better than that.
And what does it mean to “Love your neighbor as yourself?’ Again, we have a clear answer—this time, illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan told by Jesus. The author correctly notes that the Good Samaritan parable “isn’t about identifying your neighbor; it’s about being a neighbor. In essence, it’s about being the kind of friend you wish you had. “
But what does this have to do with “unfriending?” Everything, as it turns out. This book is all about--the “call back to friendship,” even when it’s awkward or scary. This book isn’t just about being a nice person or having lots of friends; that’s not the theme. Instead, it’s about being the Good Samaritan—about living out your life exemplifying the principles in that parable. Or as the author puts it:
“Being willing to be a neighbor in the heart sense of the word is being willing to connect with the people who God puts in our path.”
The author notes that you can just skip around; there’s no need to follow it slavishly section by section. I took the author’s advice and skipped around, looking at sections that seemed especially interesting. Perhaps my favorite section was the one on “Giving the benefit of the doubt to someone.” It can be a big price to pay, but “its reward can be priceless.”
I love this point: “Our business is to believe the best about people. We are not their judge, their jury, and we are certainly not their god. We are intended to be their blessing.”
Bravo, Bravo! Isn’t that one of the core truths of the Gospel? Be a blessing to others.
So all in all, I found this to be a marvelous book. Solid Biblical principles, plus a compassionate view of the world. Okay, okay, it’s for women mostly. Nevertheless, the Biblical principles presented here also apply to men. Everyone should reach out to be that Good Samaritan. However, I am mad that the author has not penned a similar book for men. In the meantime, men, let us support our wives and girlfriends as they navigate these tricky waters! Let us all be an encouragement to others.
As the author so nicely suggests, let us all “Pursue friendship on purpose.”
I am happy to include NEVER UNFRIENDED in my list of BEST NON-FICTION OF 2017.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the Publisher.