Four Types of Relationships
When talking about human relationships, there are four types (everyone has these): Acquaintance; Casual friend; Close friend; Best friend.
- Acquaintance – This is a person you just met or know but are not really good friends with. We can gain new acquaintances daily without realizing it and even more if we are looking for it. Acquaintance starts simply with a smile or small talk.
- Casual friend – Casual friendships have a relational element involved. This could be the people you work with that you see, talk to, and are around every day. It could be the people in your classroom, church, sports team, etc. But even in these settings you may see more acquaintance type of relationships than casual friendships.
- Close friend – These are the people you have something in common with. “Commonality” is the difference between close and casual. Yes, you can be on the same team (that’s commonality), but not everyone on the team is a close friend. In the church, we all have Jesus in common and we’re learning to love and care for each other, but even here, not everyone is a close friend. A “kindred spirit” is a person whose interests and attitudes are similar to yours. Kindred spirits (or close friends) are people who know you and understand you. You find it relaxing, enjoyable and empowering to be with these people.
- Best friend – Best friends are the people you have much in common with and have learned to share the deeper secrets with. There is no need for bragging, lying or acting like you’re someone else; your best friend will know when you’re doing so. A best friend is hard to find. Because we have been hurt and abandoned in the past it is hard to reestablish best friendships over and over. As you get older its harder to find best friends that’s why spouses are usually best friends.
Relationships don’t just happen. Trust plays a huge part in relational development. The closer you get in relationships the more trust is needed. That’s why relationships grow through time. We need to understand that even in the church, relational development takes time. Not everyone will be in your inner circle nor will you be in everyone’s inner circle. And that may change through time. But just as Jesus had His inner circle of Peter, James and John, I wonder how that made the others feel? I wonder if the three had a chip on their shoulder because of that. All of this is part of understanding oikos. Oikos has a lot to do with church and making disciples.
We will be hearing more about oikos in the weeks ahead.