My daughter was making toffee yesterday.  {Reason #1015 I love homeschooling.  🙂 }

Toffee is simply butter and sugar (and nuts if you choose to add them).  But it’s butter and sugar which have undergone a chemical reaction that has to occur at a specific rate at a specific temperature for a specific period of time under specific conditions.  Toffee made on an extremely humid day or on a day when it will cool too quickly will fail.

Stir the PotOh, and you have to stir the pot.  You cannot simply set it to boil and walk away.  Unless you want a disaster. (No, my daughter did not create a disaster.  Her toffee was awesome!)

Friendships are like toffee.  Sweet to the last morsel.  But they are forged under a variety of conditions, they require certain ingredients, regulated temperature, and time.  Lots of time.

And you have to stir the pot. 🙂

We were made – and redeemed – for relationships.  First with God, then with others.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:19-22

We can enter the holy places because of our friendship with Christ.  Our relationship was secured by a spiritual reaction – something eternally changed in us as a result of his bearing the heat of the consequences of our sin over time under specific conditions. His blood forged our friendship.  His sacrifice produced sweet fellowship.

And he calls us into fellowship with others.  He calls us to stir the pot of each others’ lives.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:23-25

As we see in Hebrews and throughout the Bible, “meeting together” is important to God.  It is how we stir the pot.

E-friends don’t see your piles of laundry or hear you yelling at your kids just before they knock on the door.  They can’t come keep you company while you paint the tiles on your kitchen wall.  They don’t hear you grunt angrily at the sewing machine when the thread gets all tangled or the bobbin runs out just inches from a finished project.  E-friends can’t call me on my sin, especially if I hide it behind a Minion-decorated-twinkie post.

There’s nothing wrong with minion twinkies.  There’s nothing wrong with augmenting friendship with social media.  Social media is great in moderation, but digitized “connections” can’t substitute for real-life relationships.  The Bible says it, and even science has stumbled upon it.

E-friends have a hard time stirring us up “to love and good works,” not because they aren’t genuine, but because their spoon is in a different kitchen.

Wooden Stirring Spoon

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Photo Credit:  Woman Stirring by War Office official photographer, Wooldridge (Sgt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Wooden Stirring Spoon by Kåre Thor Olsen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons