Jesus spent more time with each group of people as He went toward the middle. John, He shared everything with. John is actually referred to as the one He loved (John 19:26-27 among other places). It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t love anyone else—that is totally not true. It was just that John had a special relationship with Jesus. He was the one Jesus let get closer than any other.
Dean went on to say that this is an excellent model for each of us. 12-3-1. It would be good for each of us to have a group of around 12 people who have access to our lives and that we can “do life” with. Further, it would be great to have 2-3 people who can keep us on track. Then, to have one who has complete access to our life would be wonderful. We were meant to do life together, in community.
There were eight friendship roles discussed that we should each look for in our lives:
1. Coach – Who brings out the best in me?
2. Thinking – Who challenges my mind?
3. Listening – Who hears my dreams and my heart?
4. Sympathetic – Who cries with me?
5. Laughing – Who belly-laughs with me?
6. Correcting – Who respects me?
7. Playing – Who has fun with me?
8. Seeking – Who deepens my faith?
Answering these questions was a great exercise for me for two reasons. One, it showed me how incredibly blessed I am with the people that God has placed in my life. And, two, it revealed a couple of gaps that I have in my relationship roles that I need to fill.
I encourage you to answer these questions, then to seek to fill in the gaps.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.