There is a feature on Facebook that allows you to send a “friend suggestion” to someone. Generally, if you have two friends that you would like to connect, you “friend suggest” one to the other. Once the suggestion is made, it’s out of your hands, and you have no further responsibility. Whether or not the actual connection is eventually made is completely up to the party to whom the friend was suggested.
I recently came across this comment made on a Facebook resource site: “The suggested friends section has to be one of the most useless features on Facebook. I don’t mean to insult the person who came up with the idea at Facebook. Seriously, I understand the purpose behind it, but as a form of personal introduction it’s horrible.”
I think sometimes we Christians “friend suggest” Jesus. Maybe it’s someone at school or work that’s going through a difficult time. You’re convinced that having Jesus for a friend would make a difference in this person’s life, but you’re just not comfortable having that conversation. So what do you do? Maybe you leave an inspirational book on their desk or a flyer for an event going on at your church in their locker. Bingo! You just “friend suggested” Jesus!
Then there are those on Facebook who include their entire friend list when they suggest a friend, and a “Mass Friend Suggestion” is made. Many of those receiving the suggestion may never have actually heard of the person they’re suggesting, but does that really matter? Kind of reminds me of those little flyers I get in my mailbox sometimes. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re covered with menacing beasts and warn of impending world doom! Bam! Mass friend suggestion!
In the book Ministry of Healing, Ellen White wrote, “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me.'"
In John 1:41-42 we see clearly how excited Andrew was after meeting his Savior and his obvious passion to introduce Him to his brother, Peter: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.” If we truly want to help people begin a lifelong friendship with Jesus, we need to be willing to get involved in their lives and develop relationships of integrity that allow those conversations. And when we have the honor and privilege of making that friend suggestion, I think we should use Andrew’s example rather than Facebook’s.