(From Our Daily Bread Devotional 4-19-2023)

For many around the world, life is getting lonelier. The number of Americans who have no friends has quadrupled since 1990. Certain European countries have up to 20 percent of their population feeling lonely, while in Japan, some elderly folks have resorted to crime so they can have the companionship of inmates in jail.

Entrepreneurs have come up with a “solution” to this loneliness epidemic—rent-a-friend. Hired by the hour, these people will meet you in a café to talk or accompany you to a party. One such “friend” was asked who her clientele was. “Lonely, 30- to 40-year-old professionals,” she said, “who work long hours and don’t have time to make many friends.”

Ecclesiastes 4 describes a person who is all alone, without “son nor brother.” There’s “no end” to this worker’s toil, yet his success isn’t fulfilling (v. 8). “For whom am I toiling . . . ?” he asks, waking up to his plight. Far better to invest in relationships, which will make his workload lighter and provide help in trouble (vv. 9–12). Because, ultimately, success without friendship is “meaningless” (v. 8).

Ecclesiastes tells us that a cord of three strands isn’t quickly broken (v. 12). But neither is it quickly woven. Since true friends can’t be rented, let’s invest the time needed to form them, with God as our third strand, weaving us tightly together.

Reflect: How are you investing time and effort into your friendships? Who could you welcome into your friendship group now?

Prayer: Father, help me to be a good and loyal friend to others.

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

27 thoughts on “Rent-a-Friend

  1. It’s sad, amusing and ironic how loneliness is a social pandemic of sorts these days when we have all the tools to be even more connected.

    I believe it was Japan that recently introduced a Minister of Loneliness to address this issue. It’s sad to think that people would commit a crime to find companionship in prison.

    On a happier note, I hope you have a nice weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A meaningful share, Tammy. The reality of your first paragraph is heartbreaking. Friendships, like all relationships, take an investment of time. Well worth it! Quality over quantity, in my opinion. Enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In speaking with people, I’ve recently noticed how true this is. People are truly lonely, whether it be because they have no friends, have become estranged by their family, or have no mate or children. It’s getting real out here, and I agree, renting a friend isn’t the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, in my line of work I witness the loneliness of others more & more. It’s much more of a concern than I thought. I too experience it. Although I have family & children, they’re are off living there lives & sometimes for me, even a phone call doesn’t do the trick. I want to see & pinch & smell them, lol.
      I’ll be visiting my mom back in Arkansas soon though. Enjoy your weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

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