It Takes Time

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” – Aristotle

In 2008, the University of Kansas announced, it takes time to make friends:

In a new report published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Jeffrey Hall found that it takes roughly 50 hours of time together to move from mere acquaintance to casual friend, 90 hours to go from that stage to simple “friend” status and more than 200 hours before you can consider someone your close friend.

This means time spent hanging out, joking around, playing video games and the like. Hours spent working together just don’t count as much, Hall’s study found.

“We have to put that time in,” Hall said. “You can’t snap your fingers and make a friend. Maintaining close relationships is the most important work we do in our lives — most people on their deathbeds agree.”

It seems like friendship has fallen on hard times. Perhaps we are just too busy to make and maintain friendships, but what a tragedy that is! To the ancients, friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves, the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world in comparison virtually ignores friendship. For modern, friendship is only a diversion.

I wonder why? Perhaps because so few people experience it. People often mistake companionship for friendship. Most of us must go back to our high school days to recall relationships where we honestly rejoiced in each other’s triumphs. Be the time we reach college; we have learned to become too competitive to become friends. We don’t socialize with the people at work because “it might be bad for business.” Perhaps we fear relationships because they would obligate us. Frankly, C.S. Lewis observed friendship is the least natural of the loves. We can live and breed apart from it.

On the other hand, friendship is one of the things that makes life worthwhile. Make time for your friends this week!

Exercise

  1. What is the difference between a “friend” and an “acquaintance”? Do you make friends easily?
  2. Does “friendship evangelism” seem like an oxymoron to you?
  3. Why were the disciples so eager to introduce their friends to Jesus? Why are so many people today hesitant to do the same?
  4. Do you have any friendships that you would treasure in heaven? Pray about them this week.

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