October 29, 2008
Somewhere in graduate school a professor shared this information -
The mathematical formula for calculating the number of relationships possible in a group of people is (where X = the number of possible relationships and Y = the number of people in the group) is: (ready for a little algebra? its all I know!)
The formula: X = Y2 - Y / 2.
Let's try it out...
2 people - 4-2 over 2 = 1 relationship possible (duh!)
4 people - 16-4 over 2 = 6 relationships possible
6 people - 36-6 over 2 = 15 relationships possible.
Interesting, I sometimes hear people say: in this group of 100 there just aren't any people I can relate to. Hmm...check it out....what they are saying is that of the 4950 relationships that are possible here, there is none for me.
Interesting that Jesus did two things with this formula:
1. He chose three to be very close with: Peter, James, John. Thus there were 6 relationships possible to manage in that group.
2. He picked 12 men to raise up as His disciples...66 relationships to manage there. Gives some reason for the choices He made and the focus He gave to what can seem like such a "little" group.
Real issues for us I think are this:
1. Not how many "friends" do wehave, but how many people really know us well?
2. Make sure we are not spread thin but have dug deeply in relationships.
3. Remind ourselves frequently of the power of 12 to change the world.