friends are exceptionally rare. Whereas family members come to us by birth, friends are choices. The typical person may have thousands of associates; they may have hundreds of friends, but they probably only have one or two people that are truly close friends. Social media sites, like Facebook, may suggest that we have thousands of friends. In reality, most of the people on our Facebook friends list are only associates. Even Jesus had his inner circle of disciples, Peter, James, and John, were his closest friends. I would suggest that close friends are critical to a successful, productive Christian life.
In Find a Friend to Wound You, Greg Morse suggests that a great friend will hurt you when necessary. He suggests, and I agree, that someone who only pats you on the back and never criticizes you is not the best kind of friend to have; such a friend can be dangerous. But someone who will tell you what you need to hear is worth everything in this life. I think you will enjoy reading his article.