"Actually, what many people call their 'circle of friends' more closely resembles a triangle. Many people have contact with between 500 and 2,500 acquaintances each year, representing the base of the triangle. Then there are the 20 to 100 'core friends' in the middle. These we know by first name, and we see them somewhat regularly. At the top of the triangle are one to seven intimate friends. These people are closely involved in our lives, and their names are likely engraved on our hearts."
Yesterday, I shared my 4 litmus tests for friendship yesterday, saying friends are:
1) Mobile. They show up when you need them in spite of cost or inconvenience or danger.
2) Loyal. They believe the best about you.
3) Truthful. Because they are mobile and loyal, they earn the right to tell you the truth about...you.
4) Spiritual. A real friend always points my life towards God.
If you think about it, you don't really have time or emotional space in your life for more than a handful of people in the top of your triangle - to use the Parrotts' analogy. So, among the people you call friends, do they pass these tests? Are there other criteria you would apply? What other Biblical principles or examples are important to you? How would you go about finding great friends? Is it appropriate to let a 'friendship' go if it's not a real friendship? How would you go about doing that? What's the most healthy way to do that?
These are worthwhile questions to consider for all of us.