Recently I was surfing through Facebook and the Fast Money portion of Family Feud came across my thread. I decided to watch it for some unknown reason. One of the questions in particular caught my attention. That question was: “a survey of one hundred people, how many true friends would you say you have?” The first contestant said 3 which was #2 on the list with 21 people. The second contestant said 2, which was # 1 with 22 people. At first, I found it a little sad and almost alarming that nearly 50% of the people think they only have 2 or 3 true friends. Then, I thought to myself, how many do I have?
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13
As I started my conversation, I think of how many amazing men I have met in my life. While I had a few close friends in college, I have sadly lost consistent communication with them. My best and closest of friends have probably come as a result of attending multiple CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) retreats and meeting some awesome people are parents of children at our school and sports teams. But then I think, how true are these friendships? Are they like those of the disciples who would go out two by two and proclaim the Gospel? Are they people who will truly forgive not 7 times, but 77 times? It is said that your friends will be there when you need them the most….. but when is that? Is it when things are going horribly, perhaps a divorce, illness, a death in the family? Yes, but also when things are great. “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15. So, if I were asked that question, what would I say, probably somewhere in that 1-4 range.
However, if I look at it from a different perspective, how many people would consider me a real friend? I would hope there would be many, but who knows what that reality is. I try to play a role reversal often and think of things from the other point of view. When I see things on social media or hear of others being invited to an event that we weren’t, I think to myself, when was the last time I was in that situation. To have a friend, you have to be a friend. I think this is a great thing to pray on this holiday season, maybe as you plan those “Friendsgivings”, Christmas parties, and so forth.
“To those who consider me a true friend, I am grateful and I hope that I make you feel the same. To those whom I don’t, my goal it to do better. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:12-15