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Proverbs 18:24 NIV

By December 18, 2023No Comments

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Theologians have argued that this verse is a cautionary tale against having too many friends. Just look at Facebook. If you’re like me you probably have Facebook ‘friends’ you know nothing about. Even in Solomon’s day there were those who chased friends just to accumulate people in their lives. Anthropologists Robbie Dunbar was all the rage when the last ministry I was a part of was determining how many young people’s lives we could effectively impact for the Gospel. It all became a bit clinical to me. Regardless the bigger point is well taken. Known as ‘Dunbar’s number’ he speculated in his theory, “the tightest circle has just five people – loved ones. That’s followed by successive layers of 15 (good friends), 50 (friends), 150 (meaningful contacts), 500 (acquaintances) and 1500 (people you can recognise). People migrate in and out of these layers, but the idea is that space has to be carved out for any new entrants.” Do with that what you will. I’m pretty convinced that Solomon is giving us his own Dunbar theory. My circle of five and fifteen friends is pretty well defined and they are most assuredly closer than my brother who went to be with the Lord over a decade ago. Most of these men go back decades in my journey and have walked with me literally through the valley of the shadow and along mountain tops. We could reach out to each other at any time of day and night, and have. Our common thread is a firm understanding that we serve a God of great power, presence and love. And we reflect that to each other. Interestingly, most are not on social media. They are the ones I am comfortable telling the right story of our love for God at my funeral, wrapping their arms and hearts around my children and grandchildren when I’m gone and calling me back in line if I drift. They are truly my brothers. Today do you know yours? If so show them some love, if not start looking. #BeTheEdge

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus

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