FRIENDS OR FANS?
by Craig Sloan
John 2:23-3:1 "Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. NKJV
If you have more than three to five friends, they are most likely not friends. but fans. Jesus is accumulating a lot of fans in this text. They are people from a distance that love your gift, not you. They love you based on what you bring to the table, what they can get from you to advance them. Most people come after you for what they want from you, not the real you.
T.D Jakes, in some people's opinion the world's greatest preacher, and leader of a powerful movement, shared at one of his leadership conferences with tears in his eyes that when his mother died, he had a funeral service and only a handful of people showed up. He said he was devastated. He learned that they don't love him, they love his gift.
The root word for fan is fantasy. Fantasy means to project a unreal image. When you love my gift, you love a unreal image. I am not my gift 24 hours a day. That's why a lot of famous people die tragically. The fans fall in love with the way they look after 100 plastic surgeries. They project a image that is not real. Many of them die tragic deaths because every time they walk out of their house they feel the pressure of projecting a image that is not real. A fan has a picture of what is not real, and they want you to project that image all the time. They put expectations on you to be something you can't be...to provide something to them that you weren't intended to provide. This is how we get idols and gods. Jesus is trying to give us the wisdom of who are to commit our lives to with the understanding that the masses will never love the real you. It is only a handful of people that can look beyond the exterior and love the real you. This also helps you to understand the nature of people. For example let's look at critical people...
Critical people are people that criticize what they don't understand. That is their nature, so I base my expectation of them on their nature and I'm not offended or hurt. Who is your fan and who is your friend?
* Fans love you for what you can do for them, but when you need something, they are no where to be found.
* Friends can see your behind and still love you. Fans want to share your behind with everybody else.
* Fans are perfomance based. Friends are permanant. They don't love you more or less based on your performance. They are constant.
* Fans put false expectations on you, and when you can't meet them, they become offended at you. Friends are flexible in the relationship realizing things change.
* Fans will leave when something better comes along, Friends stick with you through hell or high water.
* Fans will praise you one moment and crucify you the next. Friends will die with you.
* Fans share inside information with others to make themselves look more important. Friends keep your secrets.