Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships
by Lisa-Jo Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Snapchat. There are so many social media platforms available now, it seems easier than ever to keep up with every friend, family member, and acquaintance in our lives. And yet, all of these digital interactions come at a cost – they often end up replacing face-to-face, quality interactions. Then, when we’ve decided that a relationship is inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even hurtful, we “swipe left,” unfriend, and move on with our lives as though that is the end of the story. It’s not.
In Never Unfriended, Lisa-Jo Baker helps her audience take a hard, honest look at modern friendships. Are our expectations too high, or maybe too low? Are we taking the time to truly invest in our friendships? Or are we punching some pixels to “like” their updates while avoiding genuine conversation? Do we “unfriend” to avoid conflict instead of confronting our flaws and fears? These are crucial questions that we need to answer, truths we need to confront if we are to rescue modern friendships from digital doom. This is the purpose of Mrs. Baker’s book – to begin the conversation. To pull us away from our phones, laptops, tablets, etc to think seriously about the most important relationships in our lives. As Christians, we have a God-given responsibility to love each other like Christ. We are to extend grace, mercy, compassion, and love. And if – when – a relationship falls apart, as they often do between fallible human beings, we are to give it to God, extend forgiveness (or humbly apologize, or both), and let go. Mrs. Baker’s book provides practical advice, real-life anecdotes, and scriptural basis for Christian friendship.
There were several typos and misspellings, but given that this is an advance copy, I hope they were fixed in the final edits. Mrs. Baker also used the image of “cupping” someone’s face quite often. It’s a sweet image, just in a little danger of being overused. On the other hand, I enjoyed that Mrs. Baker’s voice is warm and conversational, as though she were dispensing this advice over a cup of coffee with a close friend.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to enrich their friendships and ultimately their personal relationship with God, especially if they have had problems in either relationship recently and are looking for advice on how to heal.