Today I read an article that quoted Pope Francis saying he has felt “used” by people who said they were his friends. He noted that some people claimed to be his friend in order to get something out of him—to earn some sort of advantage. That bothered him.
He went on to say, “Friendship is something sacred. The Bible says to have one or two friends.”
I thought that was an interesting thing for Pope Francis to say—after all, his nickname is “The People’s Pope.” I thought for sure he would be for as many friendships as possible. But the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense to have a small, close circle of friends that you can really trust and rely on.
Right now, for example, I can count the number of close friends I have on one hand. Two I see every month, one I see every day, some I email or text. I know I can count on all of them to be there for me in good times and bad. But why would Pope Francis say friendship is “sacred?”
I’m not a theologian, and I’m not sure what the pope was thinking when he said that, but the way I understand it is that friendship brings you out of yourself—it should hopefully bring out the best in you because you become concerned for your friends. You love your friends and want to care for them in the best way you know how. Time spent together is never wasted, it’s cherished and enjoyed, even if it’s nothing more than sitting together. A lot can be said for just relaxing with people you trust.
What do you think? Do you think the pope is right, and that your inner circle of friends should be kept small? Or do you disagree? Please share.