How Many Friends Do We Need?

What’s a good number to have? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you look on my Facebook as of the time of writing this post, you will see that I have 3,083 friends. Don’t for a moment think that I really know all of them. In the past when games let you do this more, when I played a Final Fantasy game and got to rename the characters, I went with the names of my friends. It would be difficult to do that often with Facebook friends.

Sometimes my wife will get a friend request from someone and say “Do you know them?”

“Nope.”

“You’re friends with them.”

“Doesn’t mean that I know them.”

Which is true. Many of you don’t know many of your own Facebook friends well if you have them. Some you might have some good knowledge about, but you wouldn’t really call it an intimate friendship. There are a few Facebook friends I’ve never met in person that I would consider to be true friends that I can count on. It’s often quite enjoyable when I get to meet these friends.

But how many friends do you really need?

Well, if we looked at the life of Jesus, you could consider that he had 12 apostles. Within that group, there was a privileged group, the three, that he invited on very special moments to join him. Even outside of the twelve, there were other people like Lazarus and his family and numerous women. Still, Jesus did not open up with just everyone.

I really think this is a good principle to follow. Have a circle of friends. Let it be a circle with several rings. On the outermost circle are friends you know a couple sparse details about. You could say hi if you saw them in public, but they probably won’t be over to your house for dinner.

The next circle is friends you are closer to. These people might come over for a movie or for dinner. At the same time, you’re not willing to open up the closet door so they can see your skeletons yet. They could often be friends just because you enjoy their company.

The innermost ring though is your faithful circle and I really prefer to keep this ring small. Not only can they be true friends to you then, but you can also be true friends to them. In this lifetime, there is only so much of you that can go around.

People can move in and out of the circles as well. Sometimes it could depend on location. People we were super close to in Knoxville we don’t talk to as much now that we live in Atlanta. That just happens. Some people you can be close to because of work or attending a church with them or anything like that. Again, no one has to be a friend to you always.

Try to make everyone a best friend and you’re in for a world of hurt I think. Have some good friends and then keep a close circle of the people you really trust. Be friends to them and let them be your friends.

In Christ,
Nick Peters