Bill Hybels continues Chapter 7 of Simplify with a description of three levels of friendship to help us determine the depth of friendship we have with friends and acquaintances. Pastor Hybels explains: “Having a clear understanding of where each person fits in your life helps you clarify your expectations.”
1. Circumstantial friends. Bill defines circumstantial friends as “friends by circumstance, and when circumstances change, the friendship ends.” Life moves on. Circumstantial friends come and go. Circumstantial friends matter, and occasionally they become true friends.
2. True Friends- for a Season. The author notes that many of us will invest in and totally enjoy some very meaningful, true friendships. Yet, we shouldn’t be disappointed if life reshuffles the deck and one of our true friends moves on. Bill postulates that the majority of our true friendships actually will be seasonal rather than lifelong. Setting the bar of expectation too high may not be realistic, considering how long friendships last in the real world.
3. Lifelong friends. Circumstances and chemistry may align in such a way that friendships really do last a lifetime. Pastor Hybels adds:
“For obvious reasons, we cannot force or manufacture lifelong friendships. They are forged in the trenches of everyday life- and, by definition, they take a lifetime to develop.”
Today’s question: How have you been blessed by true or lifelong friends? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Deepening your inner circle”