In his helpful book, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction, Justin Whitmel Earley encourages us to have an hour-long conversation with a friend at least once a week. While he doesn’t address all these reasons for having conversations, I’m equally convinced that all of us need a friend to talk with weekly. Here’s why:
- It wouldn’t hurt most of us to find one hour per week to relax and talk with a friend. Many of us are already workaholics, and some of us have been busier than ever since the COVID-19 “sheltering in place” regulations. We need someone to push us to take a break.
- Sharing a burden lessens its weight. It’s just reality. A burden weighs more if it’s all on my shoulders, but another set of shoulders helps me bear the weight.
- Confession brings our sin out of the darkness. Hidden sin is dangerous and destructive, but an honest conversation of confession breaks the stronghold of the secret.
- Another set of eyes and ears can help us better understand God’s will. The older I get, the more I realize the value of a plurality when making most decisions. We often think more wisely when we think together.
- All of us have blind spots others help us see. The trust we build in regular conversations helps us hear the honest critique of a friend—particularly when we’re gutsy enough to ask for input.
- We usually need practice listening. I need so much practice, in fact, I’ve written my own confession on this site in the past. I’m still learning, but weekly conversations help me pay better attention to others.
- It’s good to have somebody in our life who regularly helps us laugh. Not every conversation needs to be serious and convicting. Sometimes, the godliest conversations we have are filled with laughter and fun. We need that.
- When our conversation is with a non-believer, we have opportunity to show the love of God. Of course, we need conversations with believers (for all the reasons listed above), but we also need to love, respect, and reach out to unbelievers. Maybe we need at least two conversations each week.
- Committing to a weekly conversation will likely reveal some of our idols. Like our telephones. It’s tough to have a genuine conversation with your phone and the person sitting across from you at the same time.
What about you? Would you be willing to push yourself to have at least one conversation weekly?
 Justin Whitmel Earley, The Common Rule (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2019).