The non-weirdo secret to making friends

How not to make friends? Why do you have so many friends with psychological problems? What does Paul the apostle say about friends?

The non-weirdo secret to making friends

On our Daddy-Daughter Date, Flippy (16) and I take the dog on a walk and go get some ice cream.

We talk about her friends and what makes a good and a bad friend.

All of her friends are weird.

  • Her best friend is a quirky girl, really smart but has no respect for authority.
  • Another friend of hers has basically disowned her mean father and was about to move out into the basement of her martial arts dojo.
  • And there is a fading friendship she has with a girl from kindergarten that declared herself bi-sexual. Things got weird after that.

Daddy-daughter conversation (part 1):

Thin Blair: "Why don't you have any normal friends?"

Flippy: "I don't know, but who is normal anyway?"

Thin Blair: "True, everyone is whack to some extent. But I am just talking about a girl who comes from a family who loves Jesus and doesn't need psychological counselling."

Flippy: "I know girls like that but it is not always easy to become friends."

She is right.

I don't think you can force friendship.

The weird kid in 1st grade

There was this kid Anthony in my 1st-grade class.

I was new to the school and he asked "Will you be my friend?"

He stared at me with desperate puppy dog eyes.

It was weird.

He was weird.

I said "Sure" but he was violating some basic principle of how friendship works.

Even a 6-year-old knows you can't just ask people that.

Overt, frontal attacks to make friends don't work.

Tip #1: Don't ask people to be your friend. Otherwise, you are a weirdo.

Daddy-daughter conversation (part 2):

The ice cream parlour has a line of about 50 people. They only accept cash, of which I have none, so we get some freezer ice cream from the gas station next door instead.

Flippy: "So, then how do you make friends?"

I don't feel qualified to answer this.


Evidence that I am a bad friend:

  1. I will not hang out or call a friend unless it is an agreed-upon recurring event in my calendar.
  2. I don't text friends out of a desire to connect. It must be planned.
  3. People I call friends may only hear from me once a year
  4. I try to batch contact with friends. I bullet point what I want to say. Then I reach out to them like sending a Christmas card newsletter.

Pathetic, I know.

But not as pathetic as Anthony the 1st grader according to C.S. Lewis.

Poor kid.

Stop looking for friends!

I found it in quotes from his book The Four Loves:

Lewis writes, “That is why those pathetic people who simply ‘want friends’ can never make any . . . The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends.”

Thin Blair: "Finding friends is not something you can force. It is more accidental. You are going in a certain direction and you look to your side. Who happens to be going that way? These end up your friends."

Flippy: "How does that work?"

Thin Blair: [an inspiring thought comes to mind] "I don't consider myself good at being a friend. But, how did the characters in Jumanji become friends? None of them were friends before and each was very different."

(I don't know why Jumanji popped into my head)

Flippy: "They had to win the game."

Thin Blair: "Right. They had a life-or-death mission, which made them life-long friends. So, to me that means that the stronger your mission, the easier it will be to discover friends. [Then I realize] That's why I am not the best friend. Because I lack excitement about the mission. Hobbies and interests come and go. They are not strong enough to make strong friends. Discover God's mission for you, go after it, and you will look to your left and right and discover your friends along the way."

I realize I am monologing, we finish our ice cream, and meander home talking about less deep things, like Disney child actors.

Tip #2: You have no real friends because you have no mission, or are neglecting it.

Time for me to mission up.

Nerdy Christian books on friendship

Here are two books despite having a ton of footnotes and extensive bibliographies (which I love), they are very readable for the average dude or dudette.

Philippians by Stephen E. Fowl

If you could ask the Apostle Paul about friendship, he would have handed you a copy of his letter to the Philippians.

Or would have written you a letter.

Fowl in his commentary suggests that Philippians challenges Christians to add a "theology of friendship" to our systematic theology. Something worth reflecting deeply on.

Here are his conclusions about what Paul is getting at:

  1. God has friendship at the center of His identity: 3 persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), who in perfect love are the perfect friends. The closer we walk with God as friend, the closer Christians walk with each other as friends. (pp. 209-215)

  2. Christians don't choose friends, which is different from culture. God calls us into friendship because of our friendship with Christ. This makes for unlikely friendships (pp. 215-217).

  3. Cruciform friendship: In a world hostile to the Gospel, so both in life and in death we magnify Christ. In suffering together we become the crucified body of Christ (pp. 218-220)

  4. Practices of Christian friendship:

  5. Narrating the salvation story into other's lives: Comfort and encourage each other by reframing our lives in light of Christ's life, death and resurrection. This includes intimacy, accountability, and deep familiarity with God's drama through the Bible. (pp. 218-226)

  6. Giving and receiving with no strings attached. We are all slaves of Christ who consider others better than ourselves. We owe each other nothing. (pp. 229-233)

  7. Friends rejoice: Joy should not be pursued for its own sake, but it is a signature of Christians living a life worthy of the gospel. (pp. 233-235)

The Friendship of the Lord: an Old Testament Spirituality by Deryk Sheriffs


"Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him." (Gen. 5:24)

Sheriffs points out, "Enoch is not a king, a sage, a priest or a discloser of mysteries." (p. 31)

Just a normal dude.

He lived the life God wanted to live with Adam and Eve.

Then God beamed him up.

Wouldn't that be so awesome?

Enoch was God's friend, and "walking with God" is an OT metaphor for that.

Here are some of the topics he tackles:

  • Fear of the Lord
  • Meditating on the Bible
  • Confronting God with anger
  • Calendar of seasons and rhythm of life
  • AND MORE (insert cheesy advertising voice)

If you have trouble connecting with the Old Testament spiritually as I have, try it out!

In Conclusion

Stop reading this and binge-watch the latest Jumanji movies.