In life, I believe that all you need is one good friend—someone who sees your flaws, imperfections, and areas of opportunity. They know you and you know them. Yet, they refuse to cut you off at the knees with piercing comments or feed you to the wolves of your own self-doubt.

Yes, it’s true, no one is perfect. However, no one wants to receive a boomerang of reminders of past failures. Now, there is a need for crucial conversations that snap you back into reality. One of my mentors, Dr. Mark Chironna, says, “You don’t know yourself by yourself.” It takes a quality friend to give you a 360-degree perspective on how you are showing up in the world.

That’s a quality friend. I’ve had the fortunate pleasure of having a best friend since fourth grade. Forty years later, we still tell each other the truth. We’ve experienced deaths, births, divorce, graduations, disappointments, and, to some degree, parenting our own parents.

We do not always agree. We are both strong-willed alpha males who know everything. Well, to some degree. Nevertheless, we respectfully disagree and ultimately find a new bridge of understanding. Yes, we can go months without talking, and out of the blue call each other and pick up right where we left off, as if no time passed.

A quality friend will speak words into your life that build you up instead of words that tear you down.

Quality friendships mirror back to you what’s possible in a world of impossibilities.

Quality friendships invite you into their imperfect homes without any pretense or need to impress.

Quality friendships will ask you if you are staying faithful to your spouse.

Quality friendships will tell you the truth instead of blowing smoke up your leg when you are swimming in a lake of egotism.

Unless there is a deeper conversation with someone beyond liking a post, making a comment, or resharing a blog, at best you have a quantity of acquaintances.

Having a quantity of acquaintances is a mile wide, in-depth, and an inch deep in substance.

A quantity of acquaintances gives one a dopamine rush that says you are important and influential. That’s great. I have played that game, chasing after fans, followers, and friends, only to find out that you couldn’t call them at 3 a.m. when you are stuck and contemplating doing things that your Bible-believing Pentecostal mother wouldn’t be proud of.

A quality friend will remind you of your commitment to God, your family, and the future. Remember: Whoever has your ear, has your life. Quality people speak into where you are going. A quantity of acquaintances is like running water; they come through your life instead of into it. Recognize the difference and you will invest your energy into what feeds and causes you to thrive.