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Which One Are You?

My wife and I were having a discussion recently about friendships and I shared a philosophy that I have about them with her. I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but I have come to believe it is. Maybe it’s my desire for one or the other, or simply an observation. This is where your feedback would be appreciated. I am interested to see if others see themselves in one of these two categories. So here goes:

I believe that there are two kinds of people (and friendships) in this world. The first type of person (person A) has friendships “a mile wide and an inch thick”. The second type of person (person B) has friendships “an inch wide and a mile thick”. In other words, the “person A” is the kind of person that knows everyone. They have a million friends on facebook and seem to know people everywhere they go. They have a short list of people that are those they count as “close friends” or the kind of people you would call at 2 in the morning when your world just collapsed.

“Person B” may not have the list of friends that “Person A” has, but those that he/she has are “solid as oak”. In other words, the friends that they do have would take a bullet for that friend if they had to. Their relationships are not many, but the ones they have are deep.

As I pondered my analysis, I wondered what scripture would say. I wondered which category Jesus fell in. Was he “person A” or “person B” in my formula. The more I thought about it, I think he might have created a new category (He was always doing that wasn’t He?) altogether. I think Jesus had both. We know He had 12 “B.F.F’s” that He spent 3 years investing His life into. Yet He also was the center of attention every place he went. If it was facebook, He might have even created a “fan page” because He had so many friends.

When the dust cleared on my big thought process, I guess I am still not sure. I believe that we are called to be Jesus to each person we meet. Yet, like Jesus, we need a band of brothers that pour into our lives and we into theirs. We need a community of people that we can be real with and depend on at 2 in the morning. We also need to be that friend for others.

So how about you?

[polldaddy poll=2671952]


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Comments · 15

  • arminda · February 10, 2010

    First of all, so glad to have you back in the world of blogging. :)

    Second, this post gave me a lot to think about. Not just “what kind of friendships do I have”, but I just love thinking for a while about Jesus and his BFF’s. :) I don’t think I ever thought about them that way, that they were more than twelve guys that followed Jesus around. :) Not sure if any of this has a point. Anyway, great post. :)

  • Dave · February 10, 2010

    After reading your post, I guess I feel a little bit like Jesus. Due to the nature of my job working at a college where you have a new crop of students to get to know every year who will then leave in four years, I have a lot of friendships that aren’t very deep. However, I’m also blessed with some very in-depth relationships with a smaller group of friends who would always drop anything and help me out at a minute’s notice. I would also like to think that regardless of how in-depth I know someone that I would be willing to help them out if I was aware of their need regardless of whether they were someone I just met or one of my closest friends.

    • aaron · February 10, 2010

      Thanks Arminda and Dave. I’m not even sure how to process what the results of my little “exit poll” mean. I am one that falls into the “Mile Wide and Inch Thick” group. The reasons for that and the results are a different post for a different day. I guess I am challenged to see that Jesus was able to accomplish both in a very brief time on earth. The need for deep, lasting relationships is huge. It’s a challenge but one that is worth the reward and investment. I appreciate both of your feedback!

  • David · February 10, 2010

    Welcome back…

    Interesting question.

    I have lots of acquaintances and very few close friends, so maybe I sort of fit into both groups. Having said that, I am more comfortable in small intimate groups.

    Jesus’ concern was certainly for all of humanity, but his intimacy was with few.

    Hmmm…something to chew on…


    • aaron · February 10, 2010

      David – Great to hear from you again my friend. Was just telling someone about AC180 today. It kinda falls in this category when I think back to how we started. Miss that ministry sometimes. I trust Gods timing on it though. Haven’t been to Dallas yet to connect but I will give you a bell when I do.

      Agreed that Jesus intimacy was with a few. Some of his greatest relationship was even deeper within just a few of the 12 for that matter. I think of the small handful he took with him when he went to the garden to pray. One his most stressful moments shared with just 3 or 4 of the 12.

      Something to chew on indeed. Hope you’re well!

  • Mimi · February 10, 2010

    hmmm, I’m very contemplative over this idea of friendship! I am friends with so many people, I’m a “people person”. I have some friends though who I would absolutely take a bullet for. My close friends know that if they need to call me at 2am: 1) I’d probably be awake and 2) I’d be there in a heartbeat. I hope I can be the best friend to each person that is in my life, not necissaily be their best friend.

    • Dave · February 10, 2010

      I like your last sentence, Mimi. That’s exactly how I feel.

  • Ron · February 10, 2010

    THANKS for the thoughts on friendship. Can I also throw another thought into the discussion. I heard Andy Stanley give a sermon on the story of Mary & Martha after their brother Lazarus had died. There’s little doubt that, aside from the 12, these three were possibly Jesus’ closest BFF’s. Some say they even added on to their home for those times when Jesus came to visit. The point is, remember that both sisters said to this BFF, “If you had only been here, my brother would not have died.” The truth is, even our best friends aren’t ALWAYS going to be there when we need them or when we think they should drop everything they’re doing & run to our side. In Jesus’ case, His absence was a part of a plan to increase the faith of these sisters when Jesus exercised resurrection power over their “sleeping” brother. Perhaps the thing I am always mindful of is that I should be careful about putting too high of an expectation on my earthly BFF’s. At one time or another, they’ll cause us to ask both ourselves & them, “Where were you when I needed you?” However, my heavenly BFF (Jesus) will always show up right on time (God’s time) & will restore my faith in BFF’s & resurrect my sleeping trust in the true meaning of friendship.

    • aaron · February 10, 2010

      All –

      Great thoughts and insight all! Thanks for your responses. I am beginning to think my theory is wrong (won’t be the first or last time…). I will say that I am surprised in this digital age and with the popularity of social media sites that the first category has so few votes. So many people have hundreds of “friends” on facebook and “followers” on twitter that I thought more would say they were a mile wide. While friends on facebook don’t represent those that we would really lean on or rely on in most cases, I am still surprised by the responses.

      Great discussion. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Haelie · February 10, 2010

    Well, after reading this (and skimming the responses as well), I must say that I feel kind of like Dave. I mean, I am in no way comparing myself to Jesus, but well, I (like Mimi) am a people person. I have moved around a bit and have been forced to make friendships, real and deep ones in which I could ask them to keep my sick 2-year-old son for me and my husband while we worked at out new jobs. Ones in which I would do the same for them if and when needed. People I did not know from Adam just a few months before said time of need.

    Also, I have 800+ Facebook friends…though many are, yes, maybe to the depth of an inch or so. (I use it as a ministry as much as a connection tool, though, so really does it matter if they are all my true, deep friends?)

    And, honestly, I must say (especially with all of the moving) that I do not have very many continuous, deep friendships. None of those BFF’s from high school that I thought I would NEVER lose touch with. (Of course, thanks to FB I have recently been having some scheduled – yes, scheduled! – lunches so we can reconnect in addition to our FB reconnections, which I so treasure!)

    I know I sound kinda hard to pin down on this…tough, but good, topic!

    I will say that my husband very clearly fits into your “person B” who has friendships “an inch wide and a mile thick”. Thankfully I am one of those in that inch (though he may want to refute that sometimes!). ;)

    Great topic! Will be interesting to hear how your overall response is!

  • Haelie · February 10, 2010

    One other thing I forgot to mention is that I do have another thought about this. In viewing your current poll results, not many of us comparatively are willing to put ourselves in that “person a” category.

    I wonder if we feel like calling ourselves that may be saying that we are more “superficial” than “person b”…(and of course, we know ourselves better than that, so we don’t want to mislead others in their thinking of us).

    Not sayin’ I was thinkin’ that! ;)

    Just a thought…

  • Dave · February 11, 2010

    Great response, Haelie! You and I share a lot of the same sentiments. :)

  • Nathan · February 11, 2010

    My take on it is this… It’s not the amount of friends you have or even the depth of your friends ships it’s all about your character. I know of people who, though we are not particularly good friends would be there for me in an instance. This says most about them and a little about me, not the depth of our friendship. I also know that there are people who I would seriously put myself out for, but wouldn’t necessarily consider ourselves to have a strong friendship.

    One of the verses in the Bible that i still fail to understand is 1. John 15:13
    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

    The reason I can’t work it out is that for me a greater love would be laying down your life for someone you don’t like. Once again, to me, it is more about the character of the person laying down his life than the depth of friendship. Afterall when we were an enemy of God lost in our sin Christ showed his character in dying for us.

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  • Jen H. · February 16, 2010

    Great food for thought. Once upon a time I would have thought that I had a lot of very close friends. Life and decisions made have tore some of those apart so maybe they weren’t what I thought they were. Others have been stronger and grown stronger over the past couple years. Then past that new friendships have been developed. I don’t know that I could fit myself into 1 or the other category. There is my long explanation of answering OTHER to your poll.

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