Can a person have too many friends? I guess that depends on your definition of friendship. You can “friend” a person on FaceBook and be one of a million other people who are friends with them, too. Some people never turn down a friend request so they can see their own numbers grow.
I, myself, have friended people from high school, others I knew thirty years ago when they were in middle school, but would never want to hang out with them or share my deepest concerns with them. Obviously, FaceBook friends are not necessarily friends in the old sense of the word.
What about online dating and social sites? Is an online friendship the same as a hold-my-hand, give-me-a-hug kind of relationship? I guess it can be in a cyber world kind of way. But I’m old enough to prefer a friend I can sit across the table with over a cup of coffee, enjoying each other’s company and sharing our hearts face to face.
Solomon says, “a man of too many friends comes to ruin…” (18:24) So, yes, I guess a person can have too many friends. A real friendship involves investing yourself, your time. That kind of friendship depends on mutual trust and affection. If you try to be a real friend to too many people, how far do you have to stretch? How thin can you spread yourself? Solomon suggests you’ll ruin yourself if you try.
Solomon tells us there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (also in verse 24). If you have that kind of friend, you are blessed. That person who knows you and loves you anyway, that one who will be brutally honest with you, encourage you to try something new, to put you in your place or pat you on the back. That one who defends you, stands up for you, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with you into battle. That one whose arms are your safe place.
If you have that friend you are truly blessed. If you are that kind of friend to someone, you are blessed and a blessing.
But wait! If you are a Christian you HAVE that friend. His name is Jesus. He knows you and loves you, fights for you, encourages you, is brutally honest with you, and is certainly your safe place.
Are you that kind of friend to Jesus, too? Do you spend time with Him? Do you talk to Him every day, include Him in your choices, share with Him your dreams and concerns? Do you stand up for Him, fight shoulder-to-shoulder with Him?
That friend sitting across from me over coffee is a friend I cherish, one I depend on and trust. But that person will disappoint me, will fail me once in a while. And I’ll fail her, too. We are imperfect people.
Jesus will never fail me. And His is the friendship I cherish most of all, the friendship I will nurture above all others.
I will never have a million friends. I don’t need nor want a million friends. But I will lovingly care for the few people closest to me, will spend time with them, have their backs, encourage and chastise them. We will do that for each other.
But as precious are those relationships, none can compare to the relationship I have with my Savior. That is a friendship I can’t do without. He sticks closer than a brother. And I’m sticking with Him.