Have no friends? You can always rent one if needed

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By Roger Alford

Three co-workers were getting to know each other over lunch when they started sharing secrets about their character flaws.
The first one said he sneaks off to a storage room every day in the early afternoon to take a nap without the boss ever knowing.
The second one said he found a way to steal candy bars from the breakroom vending machines when no one’s looking.
Both then turned to the third one and said: “What about you? Do you have any character flaws?”
“Yes,” he admitted. “I can’t keep a secret no matter how hard I try.”
When I heard that old joke, I could almost visualize the looks on the faces of those two fellows who had provided juicy tidbits about themselves. I could visualize eyes growing wide and jaws dropping. I could visualize a budding friendship wilting away.
In a world in which so many people shut themselves up in their homes with their televisions and computers, friends can be hard to come by. Little wonder a business is thriving in Japan that allows people to rent friends and family members, or at least people to pretend to be friends and family members. For a price, total strangers will show up for special occasions and pretend to be your friend, your spouse, your child, your parent, whatever is needed.
This particular business has actors ranging in age from infancy to elderly to step in for nearly any conceivable situation.
How sad is it that people in this fast-paced world don’t have time to foster or maintain relationships with friends and family? That’s not the way God intended it to be.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10).
The Lord wants us to love one another genuinely. That means spending time with others, doing life together, providing a helping hand, offering a shoulder to cry on when needed.
That means we need to get out of our modern-day cocoons and interact with others so that, if we ever need a friend, we don’t have to go out and rent one.
That certainly would be another juicy tidbit for the gossip from work.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.