Jan 21, 2014

Are your circles of relationships beneficial?

Today, I want to share something with you that's been on heavy on my heart lately. Friendship. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! It's anything BUT simple, especially when you have friends who are different or were raised differently than you, who have different beliefs and who may or may not live far away. There are thousands of things that can alter your friendships, but who is worth overcoming the obstacles for?

  At my church Sunday, the message was about your circles. I automatically think about Meet the Fockers when Jack tells Greg that he is no longer in the "inner circle" of trust. Ha! Ok, back to church- the pastor spoke about 3 rings of your circle,
  • the center ring being your Circle of Intimacy which should contain your spouse, parents, and anyone who you would trust your life with.
  • The next circle going outward is the Circle of Influence, which includes most of your friends, anyone who can tell you "You look chunky in that dress" and you immediately throw the dress away.
  • The last, and outer circle is your Circle of Concern, which may include folks that are considered acquaintances, or people who you've clicked with, but need more time before you bring them into an inner circle.
  And his question to us, Who's in your circles and should they be there?  Now, this had my mind spinning because for the last month or so The Mr. and I have really been evaluating the folks in our life, and their influences on us. Are they doing any good what so ever? Or is it a empty shell of a friendship in name alone?  I want people close to me who are going to lift me up just as much as I lift them up, not only in the bad times, but the good times as well. I want people who will call to check in at least once a week, who will send a quick text if they have a funny story or good news about something. I need that plus the feeling of true connection, and more from someone I consider in my circles and sadly, it's not working out that way with some of my "friends". Just because we may have been friends for x amount of years doesn't mean it's a valuable friendship.  The phrase, "You get what you put in" is not correct in my life because I put in a ton and get little back. They, on the other hand, get a lot from me and only put in bare minimum.

Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

  Oftentimes, I am the one who gets called when someone's life gets a curveball. I don't mind this AT ALL, I love to comfort and talk someone through tough times. I feel like I have a nurturing spirit and if that's what God gave me, then I'll use it on anyone who comes to me needing comfort. Still, I feel like I only hear from some of my friends in the event of a tragedy... they've split up with their love, their dog died, they have to move, they don't know who to date, they've had some sort of medical set back and are on bed rest with no one else around and they are bored so they call me! Wow! Really? I'm your last resort?

Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

 Most of my friends are not in the coveted Circle of intimacy, and that really saddens me! And in all honesty, most of my friends will drift off for a few years, then get back into contact. And since I move around so much it was difficult to stay in touch... in 1999, but now- with the obscene amount of technology- there shouldn't be any excuse! So, do they really belong in ANY of my circles? Do they uplift me? Do they encourage and support me? Do we have heart to heart chats about MY life? Do we have bible studies together? Do they inspire me to get closer to God? Do they even really pray for me like I do them every.single.night.? The answers will probably break my heart. So do I consider them dead weight and cut them loose no matter how much it breaks my heart? It's a tough one, my friends. But don't I deserve to have healthy friendships?

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” - C.S. Lewis


  1. Sniff! This is a BEAUTIFUL and truthful post. I love it! The past few years have truly shown me who my real friends are and who I can trust. (I can share with you sometime...) my dad always says the Lord works in mysterious ways. I think guiding you to and theough the right relationships is part of His work.
    Hugs my friend!

  2. I really only have a small group of people I would put in the circle of intimacy. Everyone else is on the outside of everything. I find it hard to trust people so this makes it hard for people to even get to the circle of influence with me.

  3. This is great and has got me thinking! Thanks for sharing those thoughts! :)

  4. I have been having the same thoughts and struggles lately. I keep going back to a quote I saw on Pinterest that said, "Why make someone a priority when they only make you an option?" I have several friends who only get into contact when they need help or when something bad has happened in their lives. When I am in need of someone they are nowhere to be found. Though it pains me greatly I have begun distancing myself from those individuals and our friendships have become more of an acquaintance. It hurts, but it hurts less than them not answering texts/calls or only calling when they need something.

  5. it is a hard one and i've struggled with this before myself. All i can say is that you would have most definitely been exactly what they needed at that point in time. And the good news is my friend - is that YOU were there or ARE there when they need you. That is the best type of person that YOU can be. Friends will come and go but at the centre of it all is what type of person you choose to be. And there is no denying that you are the carer and person who others can turn to - that is definitely a great gift and one, as hard as it is to sometimes not get it in return - valued above all else me thinks :D

  6. I really like this idea of three circles. It gets you thinking about who belongs in each and how to cultivate relationships that may need a little more attention. Enjoyed the post!


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