Average:

“approximating the statistical norm or average or expected value”

or

“a statistic describing the location of a distribution”

or

“around the middle of a scale of evaluation”

We are all familiar with the term average. We use it to compute final grades, compare pricing, and compare athletes. But what about us.  No one wants to be considered average. Average has the connotation of being unexceptional, normal…even boring.

But we are all average.

There is an adage that says:

You are the average of your five closest friends.

In other words, your beliefs, actions, values, etc generally come out to be the average of those of your five closest friends.  If you struggle with certain things in life, addictions, work ethic, etc., it’s a good bet that this average plays a part in that. But, it’s not all negative.  We can also exhibit an average of the good qualities – work ethic, work/family balance, how we treat our spouses and children.

But none of those are my question.

At one of the Catalyst Conferences I attended, we were asked to get out our cell phones and scroll through the phone book.  We were challenged to review that list to determine if we were solely surrounded by other Christians.  If there were no non-Christians in the list, why not? How could we possibly reach others for Jesus if our circle of friends only included Christians.

Well….here is the main question I’m pondering. And, no I don’t have the answers….I would love your feedback.

As a Christian, should I only include Christians in that five closest friends circle?

Of course that has all kinds of sub-questions.  How do I manage the influence that my non-Christian friends may have on my beliefs, etc? Do I need to regularly evaluate my five closest friends since I am the average of their beliefs, etc?  How do I evaluate myself and the contribution I make to this circle? Those are just a few.

What do you think?

 

Greg Simmons

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