In the annals of modern sports, two names stand out:  Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

They share more than championship trophies. They know who matters and who doesn’t.

In a documentary titled Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, they talk to each other about what is essential and how the world has changed.

Neither gives much credence to social media. Both understand that many times our modern world with its multitude of “friends” intrudes on communication. Both also believe that people need to look people in the eye to know them, not click a button.

As Belichick put it, “Who cares how many likes you get from 2000 people you don’t even know? There are 53 guys in the locker room. Those are the 53 that matter.”

The number is not as significant as the idea. In life, there are people that matter and those on the periphery. When you get down to it, the ones you count on are the ones that count.

Solomon, surrounded by wannabe friends, knew the difference.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

God wants us to develop that kind of relationship in the body of Christ. We need more than Facebook followers. We need someone in the “53.” Who are yours?

-Robert G. Taylor-